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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wilson Man Pleads Guilty To Environmental Charge

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Kirk Canfield, 54, of Wilson, NY, pleaded guilty to violation of the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $100,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant operated a produce farm in Wilson, NY. In August 2014, Canfield placed a meat pile that had been mixed with Golden Malrin fly bait at the edge of a cornfield on his farm in an attempt to kill coyotes. The fly bait contained Methomyl, which is an insecticide that is not to be used in a manner in which animals can eat it. 
Three juvenile bald eagles died after eating the contaminated meat pile, and on August 22, 2014, the three dead bald eagles were found and photographed in the immediate vicinity of the contaminated meat pile by an individual riding an ATV.  Subsequently, Canfield removed the three dead bald eagles from the field and removed the contaminated meat pile. By placing the contaminated meat pile on his field, the defendant acted with wanton disregard for the consequences of his act.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Honora Gordon and Environmental Conservation Officers with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 2, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Scott.

Updated July 27, 2015