Glasgow Man Ordered to Pay 6K for Killing Golden Eagle
GREAT FALLS – Keith Morehouse, 60, of Glasgow, Montana, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in federal court for killing a golden eagle near Glasgow, Montana. U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston sentenced Morehouse to a $3,000 fine and $3,000 in restitution to the Montana Raptor Conservation Center in Bozeman, Montana. The Center rehabilitates injured birds, and engages in community education, conservation and research. The eagle Morehouse killed was strangled to death in a trap set in violation of state regulations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Weiss told the Court that Morehouse unlawfully killed the eagle with a snare located about five feet from the bait station in violation of state trapping regulations, which require a 30-foot setback from bait stations visible from above. An examination of the eagle revealed that it had been strangled to death by a loop of wire around its neck that was part of the trap set by Morehouse. Morehouse’s name and contact information was found on a copper tag attached to it. When Morehouse was interviewed by law enforcement he said that he tried not to catch eagles, but it was the cost of doing business. Morehouse added that he’s “out to make money.” Under federal law, a defendant must kill an eagle either knowingly or with wanton disregard for the consequences of his or her act.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Assistant United States Attorney Laura B. Weiss prosecuted the case.