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Eagle Shooter Sentenced in Tampa, Florida

 Jesse Barresse, of Hudson was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tampa
   today  for intentionally shooting and killing a bald eagle, while he was
   illegally duck hunting in Ruskin on January 13, 2008.   Barresse
   received six months in federal prison, followed by a year of supervised
   release.  He also must pay a $500 fine to the North American Wetlands
  Conservation Fund and $25 in court fees.  Barresse was sentenced by U.S.
  District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday.

  Barresse was charged with violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection
  Act, a federal law protecting eagles, their nests, and young. For the
   violation, Barresse could have received a maximum sentence of one year
 in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

“We will vigorously pursue those who kill or injure our nation’s
   symbol,” said Andrew Aloise, resident agent in charge for the U.S. Fish
   and Wildlife Service.

 Barresse was arrested after information was revealed he bragged about
  killing a bald eagle. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agents uncovered
   the information while investigating the shooting of another bald eagle
   in a separate, unrelated case in Manatee County.  This led to Barresse,
   who at the time was wanted in Missouri on drug- related charges. U.S.
   Marshals and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agents arrested Barresse at his
   girlfriend’s home in Hudson on February 1, 2009, on that outstanding

Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S, Bureau of
   Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives interviewed Barresse at the
  Pasco County Jail, where he confessed to shooting the eagle.  Barresse
   first claimed he thought he had shot an osprey, another federally
   protected species.

Two witnesses to the shooting gave statements implicating Barresse who
   pled guilty to shooting the eagle in U.S. District Court in Tampa,
   Florida on February 17, 2009.

 As  a  species,  the  bald  eagle  was  brought  back  from the brink of
   extinction  through  efforts  to ban the use of the pesticide DDT, which
   was  damaging  the  eagle's eggs, and through the protection afforded by
  the Endangered Species Act.

The bald eagle was delisted last year and is an American success story
  and a victory for the Endangered Species Act.  However, the bald eagle
   is still protected under State of Florida Statute 372.0725 which makes
   it a third degree felony to kill or wound any species designated as
   endangered or threatened under Florida law. Killing or wounding a bald
   eagle also violates two federal laws, the Eagle Protection Act, and the
   Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with
   assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,
   U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
  Explosives, and the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department. The case
  was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cherie Krigsman from
   the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Middle District of Florida.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency
   responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife,
  plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American

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