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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Volga Man Convicted on Disturbing Protected Wetlands

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Kevin Jay Mast, age 61, of Volga, South Dakota, was found guilty of Disturbing Protected Wetlands of the United States, as a result of a federal jury trial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The jury returned the verdict on January 18, 2018.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in custody and/or a $10,000 fine.  

Mast was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 6, 2017. 

On January 19, 1973, an easement was voluntarily sold to the United States for waterfowl management rights.  The easement prohibited the drainage of any wetland areas on the property.  In 2010, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service notified Kevin Mast that his plan to install drain tile conflicted with the protected wetlands and would not be permitted.  Despite the warning, Mast installed the drain tile in the fall of 2013. The jury’s verdict concluded that Mast disturbed, injured, and destroyed the wetland areas protected by the easement, and did not have the authority and permission of the United States of America.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Clapper.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for April 9, 2018. 

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Updated January 25, 2018