LA: Trophy gator hunt leads to guilty pleas
Trophy gator hunt leads to guilty pleas in La.
Oct. 7, 2009
Two Louisiana men licensed to guide alligator hunts pleaded guilty this
week to knowingly helping a sports hunter bag a trophy gator in areas where
hunting is banned.
Travis Dardenne, a licensed alligator hunter, and Jeffery Brown, a
licensed alligator helper, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baton
Rouge, La., to wrongfully guiding an out-of-state sport hunter to an
unapproved area where the client killed a trophy-sized American alligator.
Louisiana regulates the hunting of alligators in the wild and requires
licensed alligator hunters, like Dardenne, to have tags for each killed
alligator that correspond to the area where hunting the armored reptile is
allowed. It's against the state law to hunt gators in unapproved areas.
The Justice Department reported that in addition to being listed as a
threatened species on the United States' list of Threatened and Endangered
Species, the American alligator is listed as a crocodilian species in the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which
regulates trade in the species.
"American alligators are listed as threatened species and are given
greater protection under the Endangered Species Act," said John C. Cruden,
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment
and Natural Resources Division. "Licensed alligator guides are expected to
comply with the law and individuals who choose to ignore it will be
Dardenne and Brown each face a maximum sentence of one year in prison and
a $100,000 fine.
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