Former Connecticut Resident Who Illegally Transported Protected Wildlife is Sentenced
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM CARL BARTLETT, 66, of Eastpoint, Florida, formerly of Cheshire, Connecticut, was sentenced today by U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport to three years of probation for illegally transporting protected wildlife. Judge Garfinkel also ordered BARTLETT to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 300 hours of community service.
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.
In May 2016, BARTLETT illegally collected four protected snakes and four lizards from the Pocomoke River State Forest, but was stopped by law enforcement before he could transport them to Connecticut.
On December 6, 2017, BARTLETT pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally transporting protected wildlife.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement and the Maryland Natural Resources Police.
BARTLETT is the fourth person prosecuted as part of “Operation Kingsnake,” a U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigation into individuals who trafficked hundreds of illegally collected snakes from 12 states, including Connecticut, and Canada.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.