Kaukauna Man Sentenced for Federal Wildlife Violation
Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on January 31, 2019, Christopher J. Hietpas (age: 35), of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced for violating Title 16 United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(2)(A) and 3373(d)(2), of “the Lacey Act.”
According to court documents, in September of 2015, Hietpas travelled to Saskatchewan, Canada, purportedly to hunt on First Nation Lands located within the province. Hietpas and the others in his hunting party employed the use of Little Pine First Nation guides, which would have allowed Hietpas and the others to legally hunt Mule Deer on First Nation Lands. Geolocation evidence taken from a cellular telephone, however, showed that Hietpas shot and killed two Mule Deer approximately 175 miles from the nearest First Nation boundary, in violation of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act. Hietpas later acknowledged that he was not hunting on First Nation Lands when he shot the Mule Deer. The two Mule Deer antlers and capes (skin from the nose to shoulder) were then exported from Saskatchewan in violation of the Lacey Act, ultimately ending up at Hietpas’ residence in Kaukauna.
Federal Magistrate Judge James R. Sickel ordered Hietpas to pay a $5,000 fine to the “Lacey Act Reward Fund,” as well as restitution in the amount of $5,600 CAD (Canadian dollars) to the Province of Saskatchewan’s “SaskTip” program. Further, the Mule Deer mounts were ordered forfeited and will be turned over to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. Finally, Hietpas was also ordered to forfeit his hunting rifle and scope used to illegally kill the animals.
The case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.