ALBQUERQUE, N.M. – Amado Martin Vargas Hernandez, 57, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court on May 24 for a single misdemeanor count of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
In the plea agreement, Vargas Hernandez admitted that on Nov. 14, 2019, in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, he unlawfully possessed bird parts, including feathers of sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrels, greater roadrunners, red-tailed hawks, northern flickers, white-winged doves, crested caracaras, Cooper’s hawks, bald eagles, golden eagles, and barred owls. Federal law prohibits the possession, use, and sale of the feathers or other parts of protected birds, as well as the unauthorized killing of these birds, to help ensure that their populations remain healthy and sustainable.
Vargas Hernandez was sentenced to one year of probation. As part of his sentence, Vargas Hernandez agrees to pay a fine of $250 to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund Account. Additionally, Vargas Hernandez forfeits any interest in the feathers, parts, and products of the protected birds seized during the course of the investigation of this case.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) investigated this case. FWS is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges as well as thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson prosecuted the case.
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