News and Press Releases

ted nugent pleads guilty to and sentenced for violating lacey act

April 24, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler announced that Theodore A. Nugent pled guilty to and was sentenced in federal court today in Ketchikan for violating the Lacey Act by possessing and transporting a black bear, taken in violation of state law.

Nugent, 62, of China Springs, Texas, pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of the Lacey Act before United States Magistrate Judge Michael A. Thompson.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, Nugent, who stars in and produces the outdoor hunting show, “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild”, was filming a black bear (Ursus Americanus) bow hunt on Sukkwan Island, on U.S. Forest Service Land. Nugent utilized a number of bear baiting sites between the dates of May 21, 2009, to May 26, 2009. On May 22, 2009, Nugent shot and wounded a black bear at one of the registered bait sites. Nugent failed to harvest the wounded black bear, and continued hunting in violation of Alaska state law, which counts a wounded black bear towards the hunter’s bag limit, one black bear per regulatory year. Nugent continued to hunt another black bear in violation of Alaska law and subsequently harvested another black bear at a bear baiting site on May 26, 2009, which put Nugent over the regulatory bag limit for that year. Nugent was in violation of both Alaska law and a regulation of the United States, specifically 36 C.F.R 261.8(a), which prohibits violation of State hunting laws on federal property. Nugent knew or should have known that the illegal black bear that was possessed and transported by Nugent was in violation of the Lacey Act. The violation was reported to the U.S. Forest Service after viewers observed the hunting violation on Nugent’s show. Nugent cooperated with law enforcement and indicated that he was unaware of the state law requiring a hunter to count a wounded black bear towards his bag limit.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Nugent will be placed on probation for two years and is required to pay a $10,000 dollar fine and restitution in the amount of $600 dollar to the State of Alaska for the illegally taken bear. Special conditions of probation also prohibit Nugent from hunting or fishing in Alaska and on any U.S. Forest Service land for a term of one year. Nugent is also required to produce and broadcast, at his own expense, a 30 to 60 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) discussing a hunter’s responsibility for knowing the rules and regulations of the hunting activities that a hunter takes part in. The PSA is subject to prior approval by a representative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Alaska, and once approved will air for one calendar year, every other week on the “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild” television show.

Ms. Loeffler commends The U.S. Forest Service Investigations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who conducted the investigation leading to the charge in this case.

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