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NY: River sporting guide fined in illegal hunting case

River sporting guide fined in illegal hunting case

January 20, 2011

A Grand Island man who served as a paid hunting and fishing guide on the Lower Niagara River has landed in hot water again with the federal government.

Joseph Cinelli pleaded guilty earlier this month to illegally hunting waterfowl under provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and was fined $5,000. His merchant mariner’s license was revoked for three years.

A year ago, Cinelli was serving as a guide for three clients out on the river when he “allowed and encouraged” them to hunt long-tailed ducks flying near his boat as it motored along the waterway.

The treaty act prohibits hunting “migratory birds from a vehicle under power.” The hunt was observed by a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent in January 2010, according to agency spokesman Bill Butcher.

Cinelli, Butcher said, pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor offense in 2007. His three clients were charged with similar counts and have since pleaded guilty.

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