Two Louisiana Men Sentenced for Smuggling Live White-Tailed Deer into Mississippi
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Miss. – Edward L. Donaldson Jr., 75, and John Jared Oertling, 42, both residents of Pearl River, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, were sentenced in Hattiesburg Tuesday on charges of conspiring to smuggle live white-tailed deer into Mississippi, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Luis Santiago of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.
United States District Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Donaldson and Oertling each to three years of probation, a fine of $10,000, and a worldwide prohibition from hunting of any type for one year. Oertling was also sentenced to serve 6 months of house arrest under location monitoring. Judge Starrett further ordered that the 1,031 acre high-fenced enclosure, known as Turkey Trot, and owned by Donaldson’s daughter and Oertling’s wife, is to be quarantined by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for 5 years and the white-tailed deer inside are to be subjected to testing for chronic wasting disease paid for by Donaldson and Oertling in the amount of $120,000.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent in Charge Luis Santiago stated: "We take our mission working with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and the citizens of Mississippi in conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats very seriously. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, considers the potential spread of disease caused by the illegal commercialization of wildlife resources a high priority, and we will continue to work closely with our State partners to assist them in these important investigations."
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Darren J. LaMarca and Dave Fulcher.
Updated September 13, 2018