Schanze Charged In Two-Count Misdemeanor Information With Using An Aircraft To Harass Wildlife; Pursuing A Migratory Bird
SALT LAKE CITY - Dell Schanze, age 45, of American Fork, Utah, has been charged in a two-count misdemeanor information with knowingly using an aircraft to harass wildlife and pursuing a migratory bird. The charges were filed Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
Count one of the information alleges that Schanze violated the Airborne Hunting Act by using a motorized paraglider to harass an owl during an incident in February or March of 2011. Count two of the document alleges Schanze used his motorized paraglider to pursue a barn owl, which is a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The information also includes a notice of intent by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to seek forfeiture of the motorized paraglider or substitute property or assets.
The potential penalty for using an aircraft to harass wildlife is up to one year in jail and a fine of $100,000. The potential penalty for pursuing a migratory bird is up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Charges included in a misdemeanor information are not findings of guilt. Individuals charged in a misdemeanor information are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.
A summons will be issued to Schanze to appear in federal court.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City.