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NE - Virginia man sentenced for hunting violations in Nebraska

Virginia man sentenced for hunting violations

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 10:35:54 am CDT
Beatrice Daily Sun staff

A Virginia man has been sentenced to five years’ probation and one year of home detention in U.S. District Court for hunting violations in southeast Nebraska.

Kent Hippen of Virginia was sentenced late last week in U.S. District Court following a two-year investigation into hunting violations in southeastern Nebraska.

The sentence also included more than $25,000 in court-ordered payments.

Hippen pleaded guilty in February to felony violations of a federal law that prohibits guides from helping clients illegally kill wildlife.

Hippen and Paul Payton operated Nebraska Trophy Whitetails, a guiding and outfitting service. Payton, who also has pleaded guilty, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, The men were indicted after a two-year covert investigation, known as Operation Stateline.

Presenting evidence in February, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Everett said Hippen took an out-of-state client to a Nebraska field along the Nebraska-Kansas border in April 2003.

The hunter killed three wild turkeys. The Nebraska limit at the time was one, while Kansas had a two-turkey limit.

Hippen put a Nebraska tag on one bird and Kansas tags on the others, making it appear that the client had shot one turkey in Nebraska and two in Kansas.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf sentenced Hippen to five years’ probation and one year of home detention. He can farm and fish but is prohibited from hunting, guiding or outfitting.

In lieu of a fine, Hippen must make a $20,000 contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is expected to pay half of nearly $13,000 in reimbursement to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the costs of the investigation.

Hippen also must perform 100 hours of community service, such as helping with hunter education classes.  

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