RAPID CITY, SD- United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Mandan, North Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violations of the Lacey Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Sheldon Tree Top, age 43, was indicted on August 22, 2017. He 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 2 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release, and up to $150 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that between August 7, 2014, and August 14, 2014, Tree Top knowingly transported, sold, received, acquired, and purchased bald eagle, golden eagle, and various species of hawks, when Tree Top should have known the protected birds were taken, possessed, transported, and sold in violation of, and in a manner unlawful under the laws and regulations of the United States.
The charges are merely accusations and Tree Top is 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.
Tree Top was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.
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