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Hardin man admits hunting eagles, selling parts

February 17, 2012

From KTVU.com

HARDIN, Mont.

A 71-year-old Hardin man has acknowledged killing bald and golden eagles and selling their parts.
 
The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/yzeQjD) reports William Esley Hugs pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to traffic in eagles and migratory birds. A plea agreement calls for five other charges to be dismissed when he is sentenced on May 17.
 
Hugs and at least five others, including his son and his brother, were charged last summer after a tip led to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigation.
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Steger Smith says FWS worked with an informant to buy eagle feathers, bird parts and whole eagle carcasses from Hugs from about December 2010 until February 2011.
 
Bald and golden eagles are protected by federal law.

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