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Brookville man pleads guilty after migratory birds hunted illegally

January 27, 2012

From DaytonDailyNews.com

DAYTON — A Brookville guide pleaded guilty in U.S. Southern District Court of Ohio on Wednesday for violating the Lacey Act by selling migratory birds that were hunted illegally.
 
Bruce M. Haffner, 46, owner of Face to Face Outdoors Guide Service, faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, according to the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter M. Stewart.
 
Haffner’s sentencing date before United States Magistrate Judge Michael R.
Merz has not yet been determined.
 
In his plea agreement, Haffner admitted that he guided Canada goose hunts in Montgomery County on January 21-22, 2010. During those hunts, Haffner directed and encouraged the hunters to take over their daily bag limit of geese. Haffner also admitted in his plea that he guided Mourning dove hunts in Brookville on September 1-2, 2010. During those hunts, Haffner encouraged hunters to shoot over their bag limits of doves.
 
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits any person from taking more than the daily bag limit, or aggregate daily bag limit, of migratory birds. Canada geese and Mourning doves are both migratory birds.
 
The Lacey Act makes it a crime for a person to transport or sell wildlife when that person knew, or should have known in the exercise of due care, that the wildlife was taken or possessed in violation of federal law. Under the Lacey Act, the term “sale” includes the sale of guiding services for the illegal taking of wildlife. “By selling guiding services for taking over the limit of migratory birds, Haffner was selling those birds within the definition of the Lacey Act,” said Fred Alverson, law enforcement coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
 
As part of the plea agreement, Haffner has agreed to serve 18-months probation, with the first six months being served as home detention. Haffner will perform community outreach services by speaking at hunter education courses about the migratory bird The case was investigated by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
 
As part of the plea agreement, the covered trailer, hunting decoys, bird calls, and shotgun that were used in furtherance of the Lacey Act crime have been abandoned and forfeited.
 
Haffner graduated from Northmont High School in 1983, won the state sporting clay championship in 1999 and the Middletown Sportsmen’s Club title in 2009.

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