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Press Release

Four Orangeburg Men Charged With Illegal Trapping and Killing of Hawks at South Carolina Plantation

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

Contact Person: Eric Klumb (843) 727-4381

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney William N. Nettles stated today that four Orangeburg men, Charles Williams, age 65, John Dantzler, age 66, Jimmie Aiken, age 56, and Alejandro Renteria Noyola, age 56, have been charged in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, with the unlawful trapping and killing of migratory birds at Willcreek Plantation, a 1,790-acre tract of land in Orangeburg County owned by Willcreek LLC.  Charles Williams, the registered agent for Willcreek LLC, was charged with 7 counts of killing Red-tailed or Cooper’s Hawks during 2013 and 2014; the remaining defendants were each named in a single count. This crime is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act under Title 16, United States Code, Section 703, and carries a maximum prison term of six months and a fine of up to $15,000, or both, for each count of conviction.  

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  The investigation began in November of 2013 based on a tip from the DNR Operation Game Thief Hotline and culminated with the execution of a search warrant at Willcreek Plantation on February 21, 2014.  During the course of the investigation, agents seized more than thirty raptor carcasses from Willcreek Plantation.

Assistant United States Attorney Eric Klumb of the Charleston office is prosecuting the case. 

The United States Attorney stated that the charges are merely accusations and that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Updated December 16, 2015