Plea deal results in worldwide hunting ban
A North Carolina man who bagged a deer and a bobcat in Kentucky without obtaining the proper permits has found himself banned from hunting anywhere in the world for two years.
The Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man who bagged a deer and a bobcat in Kentucky without obtaining the proper permits has found himself banned from hunting anywhere in the world for two years.
Rodney Poteat was sentenced in federal court in Kentucky last week after pleading guilty to charges of killing the animals and transporting them to his Salisbury, N.C., home, without reporting the kills or a permit required of nonresidents.
The plea deal cost him $5,350 and two years' probation, during which "the defendant shall be prohibited from hunting or accompanying anyone hunting anywhere in the world," reads the judge's order, first reported by The Salisbury Post.
It's unclear what led authorities to Poteat. Messages left for him and his Kentucky lawyer were not immediately returned.
Hunting bans for those who break wildlife laws are not uncommon — some violators have been banned for life. But those punishments typically happen at the state level and generally carry over into other states only as long as they're among the 33 that belong to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, according to Jeremy Rine, associate director of state services for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
"Essentially," he said, "if you get in trouble in one state, you suffer the consequences in any of the other states that participate in the compact."
Charles Feldmann, a partner at the Colorado law firm Feldmann Nagel & Associates who specializes in wildlife law, said Poteat's punishment is a sign of increasingly severe penalties for people convicted of wildlife-law violations.
"This area of prosecution, in my opinion, is getting far more aggressive, and so we're starting to see more outrageous sentences like that," Feldmann said.
In April, U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel — who handed down Poteat's sentence — barred two men convicted of illegally baiting mourning doves from hunting migratory birds anywhere around the world for two years.
"The vast majority of my clients come to me thinking they just entered a plea in court to a misdemeanor, and they don't have any idea that not only do they now have a criminal history, but they also might lose their ability to hunt altogether," Feldmann said.
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