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LAFAYETTE, La. - United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Trevor Istre, 22, of Jennings, Louisiana, has been sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to 5 years of unsupervised probation and a $3,000 fine for taking migratory birds with the aid of a motor vehicle, taking migratory birds during a closed season, and taking migratory birds in violation of state law. As part of his probation, Istre’s hunting, and fishing privileges were suspended for 3 years. Three other individuals involved in the illegal activity were previously fined a total of $2,470.
The trial for Istre on the aforementioned wildlife violations was set to begin February 10, 2022, but Istre pleaded guilty to those violations on the day of his trial. The charges stemmed from an investigation into illegal hunting activity on Mardi Gras day, February 16, 2021 when a Wildlife Officer from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s K9 team encountered a group of individuals shooting geese from a state highway on private property. The subjects fled from the area and avoided apprehension that day. Agents began an investigation into their illegal hunting activities and located spent shotgun shell casings and apprehended one crippled goose that day. Their investigation continued and the violators were identified, four of which were repeat offenders with histories of wildlife violations in state and federal courts on Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. In total, 29 geese that were illegally taken were seized.
Istre previously pleaded guilty to federal wildlife violations at the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in December 2019 and had state wildlife violations in November and December 2019 and had already paid $3,904 in fines to multiple jurisdictions for hunting violations since he had become an adult.
“Hunting violations are cases that our office takes very seriously,” stated U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “The hunting laws were created for the protection of our wildlife, and we will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to hold those who break those laws accountable for their actions.”
“Our Federal Wildlife Officers, and Canines, take Migratory Bird enforcement seriously in the Mississippi Flyway. Restricting hunting and fishing privileges has proven to be the most effective deterrent for the protection of wild game species and public lands in Sportsman’s Paradise. Courts in the Western District of Louisiana have echoed that message, and the public wins when these types of sentences are imposed,” said Steven Strader, Patrol Captain for the USFWS Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, Louisiana District.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Canine Team, investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.
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