EL DORADO – A Magnolia man was sentenced on June 15, 2023, to 24 months of federal probation, with the first 60 days to be served on home detention and ordered to pay $2,025 dollars in restitution and fees on one count of Aiding and Abetting in the Taking of a Bald Eagle. The Honorable Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in El Dorado.
According to court documents, on January 16, 2022, Officers with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission were dispatched to Lake Columbia, which is within the Western District of Arkansas, El Dorado Division. Upon arrival, officers made contact with a witness who advised that he was duck hunting with his children when he observed a Bald Eagle fly over their location.
The witness observed a subject shoot the Bald Eagle. The witness then observed a subject go out and retrieve the bird from the water. Shortly thereafter, officers made contact with Christopher Lane Shackelford, age 20. Shackelford initially denied shooting the Bald Eagle, but later confessed to the officers.
Bald Eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The violations of these statutes can carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and/or two years in federal prison.
U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney’s David Harris, Bryan Achorn and Graham Jones prosecuted the case.
Anyone with information concerning violations of wildlife crimes is asked to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement in Conway, AR at (501) 513-4470; or contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at (833) 356-0824 or text your tip to TIP411 (847411) (charges may apply).
Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @ www.pacer.gov