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Press Release

Plummer Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

COEUR D'ALENE - Adrian Q. Brown-Sonder, 23, of Plummer, Idaho, pleaded guilty today to violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.  Brown-Sonder was charged by the United States Attorney’s Office on January 26, 2015.

According to the plea agreement, a confidential informant contacted Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police, who in turn contacted the FBI and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and stated that Brown-Sonder killed eagles and other migratory birds.  Several witnesses were interviewed and explained that Brown-Sonder admitted to them that he had killed hawks and eagles.  A search warrant at the defendant’s residence resulted in the discovery of a large number of eagle and hawk feathers, as well as a wide array of bird skulls and feet.  Two bald eagles, two golden eagles, two rough-legged hawks, two red-tailed hawks, and two unspecified dark-morph hawks were identified by a morphology examination.

Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council wrote a letter to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service setting forth the tribe’s official position regarding hunting of eagles and other birds of prey, categorically condemning the killing of these birds and supporting protective federal laws. The Chairman wrote that even before the passage of these federal laws, “the tribe revered and admired eagles as symbols of strength and courage.”

The maximum punishment for the first violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act is punishable by up to one year in prison, five years of probation, a maximum fine of $100,000, and up to one year of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for August 18, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.

The case was investigated by Coeur d’Alene Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and  the FBI.


Updated May 22, 2015