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Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Enforcement Jay Pilgrim & Keith Swindle Senior Special Agents Office of Law Enforcement Arlington, VA (703) 358-2426.

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Presentation on theme: "Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Enforcement Jay Pilgrim & Keith Swindle Senior Special Agents Office of Law Enforcement Arlington, VA (703) 358-2426."— Presentation transcript:

1 Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Enforcement Jay Pilgrim & Keith Swindle Senior Special Agents Office of Law Enforcement Arlington, VA (703)

2 Performance Objectives Familiarization of OLE organization and strategy. Familiarization with MBTA regulations. Understand MBTA penalties and forfeiture provisions. Investigative cases relating to MBTA

3 Organization & Enforcement Strategy

4 Organizational Chart Chief, Law Enforcement Special Agent In Charge, Law Enforcement Assistant Special Agent In Charge, Law Enforcement Resident Agent In Charge Special Agents Wildlife Inspectors Resident Agent In Charge Special Ops, Intel, DERTSU, Lab

5 OLE Strategies A. High Priority. In general, high priority enforcement work deals with wild populations of federally protected species of fish, wildlife, or plants and involves violations that have a significant scope or impact on populations of such species. High priority enforcement activities include: (2) Unlawful commercial activities involving wild populations of other federally protected fish or wildlife. (3) The unlawful take of federally protected species of fish, wildlife, or plants and/or destruction/modification of their habitats by environmental contaminants or industrial hazards such as pesticides, poisons, oil spills, cyanide leach pits, or other toxins.

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9 OLE Strategies B. Medium Priority. Medium priority enforcement activities include: (5) Unlawful activities involving wild populations of other federally protected fish or wildlife.

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11 Hawk Trap

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14 OLE Strategies C. Low Priority. Low priority enforcement activities include: (2) Compliance inspections of Service permit holders.

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16 OLE Strategies Service law enforcement managers, however, must ensure that officers are focusing on those crimes that have the most serious impact on protected wildlife resources. Many Lacey Act investigations and some waterfowl work will obviously meet this standard; other enforcement operations, however, may not, particularly if officer resources are already fully engaged in addressing more critical conservation needs.

17 The Act 16 USC §703 et. seq. …it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or attempt to take, capture or kill, possess, offer for sale, offer to barter, barter, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation, transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or egg of any such bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any such bird or any part, nest, or egg thereof…… Can’t do anything with migratory birds, part, nest or eggs.

18 The Act 16 USC §703 et. seq. Can’t do anything with migratory birds, part, nest or eggs. 16 USC §704 (a) Service can permit activities pertaining to migratory birds (b)(1) – Take MGB with the aid of bait when person should knew or reasonably should have known the area was baited. (b)(2) – Place or direct the placement of bait.

19 The Act 16 USC §704 (a) Subject to the provisions and in order to carry out the purposes of the conventions, referred to in section 703 of this title, the Secretary of Interior is authorized and directed, from time to time, having due regard……..to determine when, to what extent, if at all and by what means….to allow hunting, taking, capture, killing, possession, sale, purchase, shipment, transportation, carriage, or export of any such bird or any part, nest or egg thereof… [712] Service can permit activities pertaining to migratory birds

20 Regulations

21 MBTA Regulations Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations Part 10: List of Migratory Birds Take defined – Pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect (or attempt) Part 20: Hunting regulations Five families of MGB State Pamphlets for regs Part 21: Permits – are available (part 13) Part 92: Subsistence take in Alaska

22 OLE Policy Baiting Domesticated Mallards Take by Industry Vitter video

23 Penalties, Prosecutions and Forfeiture

24 SCIENTER (mental state) & Penalties Criminal Felony Class E – $250,000/$500,000, up to 2 yrs Knowingly Knowingly sale migratory birds [ 703] Misdemeanor – Class A - $100,000/ $200,000, up to 1 year Place or direct placement of bait [704(b)(2)] Class B - $15,000 and/or 6 months Strict Liability Strict Liability – All regulations (50 CFR) Knew or reasonably should have known Knew or reasonably should have known – Hunting with aid of bait. [704(b)(1)] Civil – Not available

25 Prosecution How we charge defendants Felony Indictment – Federal grand jury Misdemeanor Indictment Information – Formal through USA office Class A misd. Violation Notice – Citation (Collateral Schedule) Class B misd.

26 Forfeiture Misdemeanor All birds, parts, nests, eggs Felony All guns, traps, nets, vessels, vehicles, and other equipment

27 Individual Work Law Enforcement Review Answer the questions regarding law enforcement and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

28 Relevant Investigations

29 OLE Strategies A. High Priority. In general, high priority enforcement work deals with wild populations of federally protected species of fish, wildlife, or plants and involves violations that have a significant scope or impact on populations of such species. High priority enforcement activities include: (2) Unlawful commercial activities involving wild populations of other federally protected fish or wildlife. FOILES Investigation – 13 months, $100,000 fine Operation Harlequin – 5 primary defendants; $61,000 fines Seaside Aquaculture – Criminal $5,000; Probation: 3yrs, $40,000 Michael Zak – 3 counts criminal $65,000 (includes 1 count BGEPA)

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31 OLE Strategies (3) The unlawful take of federally protected species of fish, wildlife, or plants and/or destruction/modification of their habitats by environmental contaminants or industrial hazards such as pesticides, poisons, oil spills, cyanide leach pits, or other toxins. Apollo energy - good Brigham oil - bad Selendang Ayu – Alaska oil spill. Incident command system. $10 million criminal penalty.

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34 OLE Strategies B. Medium Priority. Medium priority enforcement activities include: (5) Unlawful activities involving wild populations of other federally protected fish or wildlife. Baited dove field: $10,000 fine for person placing bait.

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36 OLE Strategies C. Low Priority. Low priority enforcement activities include: (2) Compliance inspections of Service permit holders. Taxidermy permits - $3,600 fine (possession, tagging, etc)

37 Questions?


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