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Press Release

What Cheer Man Sentenced for Taking and Possessing a Bald Eagle

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

DES MOINES, IA - On November 6, 2014, Jason John Thomas, age 36 of What Cheer, Iowa, was sentenced by District Court Judge John A. Jarvey to 60 days imprisonment for taking and possessing a bald eagle, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Thomas was ordered to serve one year of supervised release following the imprisonment, pay a $2,000 fine, and pay $25 toward the Crime Victim Fund. Special conditions of the supervised release include that Thomas shall perform 80 hours of community service, and shall not engage in any form of hunting.

On March 16, 2011, Thomas took and possessed a bald eagle in rural Mahaska County. During a boat ride, Thomas saw the bald eagle on a bluff above the river. Thomas pursued the eagle as it flew down river, captured it after it landed in the river, and then struck and killed the bald eagle.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

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Updated April 13, 2015