RAPID CITY, SD- United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Chamberlain, South Dakota man, a Fort Thompson, South Dakota man, and a Box Elder, South Dakota woman have been indicted by a federal grand jury for violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Lacey Act.
Christopher Pomani, age 37, Michael Pomani, age 40, and Arvella Pomani, age 35, were indicted on August 22, 2017. They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on October 6, 2017, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to two years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, one year of supervised release, and up to $175 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on October 27, 2014, Christopher Pomani and Michael Pomani did knowingly, and with wanton disregard for the consequences of their actions, possess, sell, barter, and offer to sell and barter, a bald eagle and a golden eagle and parts thereof.
The indictment also alleges that between October 28, 2014, and October 30, 2014, Michael Pomani and Arvella Pomani also did knowingly, and with wanton disregard for the consequences of their actions, possess, sell, barter, and offer to sell and barter a bald eagle and a golden eagle and parts thereof, as well as knowingly transported, sold, received, acquired, and purchased bald eagles, golden eagles, and various species of hawks and owls.
The charges are merely accusations and all three defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan N. Dilges and Eric D. Kelderman are prosecuting the case.
Christopher Pomani was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. Michael Pomani and Arvella Pomani were released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not been set.