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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
illegally duck hunting in Ruskin on January 13, 2008. Barresse
received six months in federal prison, followed by a year of
release. He also must pay a $500 fine to the North American Wetlands
Conservation Fund and $25 in court fees. Barresse was sentenced by
District Court Judge Steven D. Merryday.
Barresse was charged with violating the Bald and Golden Eagle
Act, a federal law protecting eagles, their nests, and young. For the
violation, Barresse could have received a maximum sentence of one
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.
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
in a separate, unrelated case in Manatee County. This led to
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
Pasco County Jail, where he confessed to shooting the eagle. Barresse
first claimed he thought he had shot an osprey, another federally
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,
was damaging the eagle's eggs, and through the protection afforded
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
it a third degree felony to kill or wound any species designated as
endangered or threatened under Florida law. Killing or wounding a
eagle also violates two federal laws, the Eagle Protection Act, and
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
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
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