Four Mississippi men sentenced for violating federal wildlife laws

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, four Southwest Mississippi men were sentenced for violating federal wildlife laws.

Kenneth Britt, Jr., of Wesson, Tony Smith of Wesson, Barney Bairfield, III, of Brookhaven, and Dustin Treadway of Brookhaven, were sentenced for conspiring in 2018 to kill in excess of the legal limit of Kansas wild turkeys while unlicensed and transporting the wild turkeys across state lines to Mississippi.

Treadway was sentenced for aiding and abetting similar federal violations in 2017.

Prosecutors said the defendants’ unlawful activities took place in Kansas and Nebraska. In 2018, Britt, Smith and Bairfield killed over 25 wild turkeys without the required hunting licenses and over the limit of two per person per season, in violation of Kansas law.  They returned to Mississippi with trophy spurs and beards of the illegally-killed turkeys.

Treadway killed wild turkeys in Kansas in 2017 without a proper license and over the limit. He also returned to Mississippi with the trophy spurs and beards. Under the federal Lacey Act, it is unlawful for any person to transport across state lines any wildlife taken in violation of state law.

Britt was sentenced to five years of probation, a fine of $25,000, and a worldwide prohibition from hunting of any type for five years.

Smith was sentenced to four years of probation, a fine of $15,000, and a worldwide prohibition from hunting of any type for four years.

Bairfield was sentenced to two years of probation, a fine of $3,000, and a worldwide prohibition from hunting of any type for two years,

Treadway was sentenced to two years of probation, a fine of $5,000, and a worldwide prohibition from hunting of any type for two years.

“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing the Lacey Act and other federal laws to protect our wildlife resources,” said acting U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca. “This office will continue to work closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to enforce the Lacey Act. It is my hope that this prosecution sends a strong message that the wanton, indiscriminate killing of the American Wild Turkey, or any animal for that matter, will be met with debilitating and just consequences.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

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