Former Connecticut Resident Pleads Guilty to Illegally Transporting Protected Wildlife
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM CARL BARTLETT, 65, of Eastpoint, Florida, formerly of Cheshire, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport to two counts of illegally transporting protected wildlife.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BARTLETT is a snake and reptile collector. In July 2012, BARTLETT shipped via overnight mail courier 10 Outer Banks kingsnakes from Connecticut to an individual in Emporium, Pennsylvania. Prior to that date, BARTLETT collected a male and female kingsnake from the Outer Banks in violation of North Carolina law. In North Carolina, the Outer Banks kingsnake is designated as a species of special concern. BARTLETT then bred the snakes in Connecticut.
Between April 29 and May 13, 2015, BARTLETT transported five Coastal Plain milk snakes from the Chesapeake Forest and the Pocomoke River State Forest in Worcester County, Maryland, to his home in Connecticut. The snakes were collected in violation of Maryland law.
Judge Garfinkel scheduled sentencing for February 28, 2018, at which time BARTLETT faces a maximum term of imprisonment of two years and a fine of up to $20,000. BARTLETT is released on bond pending sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement and Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, and the Maryland Natural Resources Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.