PIERRE, S.D. - Three men have pleaded guilty to illegally
transporting deer from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South
Dakota to North Dakota in 2003.
Jeffrey Smith, 42, of Streeter, N.D., and two Texas men - Charles R.
Brooks, 58, of Cedar Hill, Texas, and Jerry D. Brooks, 56, of
Midlothian, Texas - could get up to a year in prison and a fine for each
count, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
They are scheduled to be sentenced March 24 in U.S. District Court in
Jerry Brooks pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors. Smith and Charles
Brooks pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each.
In August, the men had pleaded not guilty.
They were accused of illegally helping patrons of a guide service
shoot and transport deer on the reservation, which straddles the North
Dakota-South Dakota border. The charges involved violations of the
federal Lacey Act by selling and transporting deer that had been
illegally shot. The law governs the preservation of game.
Jerry Brooks purchased Sheldon's Waterfowl of Streeter, N.D., but did
not meet the requirements for an outfitting license, court paperwork
said. He had been accused of charging clients from across the United
States as much as $5,700 for hunts that would let them shoot both a mule
deer and a white-tailed deer.
Ultimately, the Standing Rock reservation decided not to issue the
outfitter two-tag licenses. As a result, prosecutors said the business
obtained tribal licenses in company officials' names and the names of
others and used them to tag a second deer for clients.
In some instances, deer were shot on non-tribal land without the
required South Dakota license, according to court papers. At least one
of the outfitter's patrons saw what was happening and became upset,
according to a federal indictment.