Guilty Plea of Greenville Resident
OXFORD, Miss. Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Luis Santiago, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, announced that:
Gene Stock, 36, of Greenville, Mississippi, pled guilty on December 8, 2015, before United States Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders, in Aberdeen, Mississippi, to one charge of Taking Migratory Game Birds by the Aid of Bait and to a second charge of Aiding and Abetting others to do the same, in violation of federal law. The guilty plea arose out of an investigation concerning Stock’s hunting practices during the 2014-2015 waterfowl season. Stock, who had planted corn in his duck impoundment in Washington County, had, during the course of the season, used his ATV to drive throughout the impoundment for the purpose of going to and from his hunting blinds, retrieving downed waterfowl, and moving blinds from one location to another. In the process of driving his ATV through the impoundment, Stock knocked down stalks of standing corn, spreading grain throughout the impoundment. Federal law makes it unlawful to hunt migratory waterfowl over any area where agricultural crops have been manipulated, including manipulation by any motorized vehicle, unless the manipulation consists of a normal agricultural practice as defined by the state extension service.
Following his guilty plea, Stock was ordered to pay a $15,000.00 fine for each count of conviction, for a total fine of $30,000.00.
“We are committed to working with Mississippi and its citizens to conserve and protect wildlife,” said United States Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent in Charge Santiago. “Our collective efforts help ensure that these resources will be here for future generations of fair chase hunters, trappers and outdoor enthusiasts.”
This case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP). MDWFP Chief of Law Enforcement, Steve Adcock stated that he looks forward to the continued cooperative relationship with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as together we protect and conserve Mississippi’s natural resources.