Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

Three men admit to hunting violations

Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. - Three men have pleaded guilty to illegally transporting deer from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota to North Dakota in 2003.

Jeffrey Smith, 42, of Streeter, N.D., and two Texas men - Charles R. Brooks, 58, of Cedar Hill, Texas, and Jerry D. Brooks, 56, of Midlothian, Texas - could get up to a year in prison and a fine for each count, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

They are scheduled to be sentenced March 24 in U.S. District Court in Pierre.

Jerry Brooks pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors. Smith and Charles Brooks pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each.

In August, the men had pleaded not guilty.

They were accused of illegally helping patrons of a guide service shoot and transport deer on the reservation, which straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The charges involved violations of the federal Lacey Act by selling and transporting deer that had been illegally shot. The law governs the preservation of game.

Jerry Brooks purchased Sheldon's Waterfowl of Streeter, N.D., but did not meet the requirements for an outfitting license, court paperwork said. He had been accused of charging clients from across the United States as much as $5,700 for hunts that would let them shoot both a mule deer and a white-tailed deer.

Ultimately, the Standing Rock reservation decided not to issue the outfitter two-tag licenses. As a result, prosecutors said the business obtained tribal licenses in company officials' names and the names of others and used them to tag a second deer for clients.

In some instances, deer were shot on non-tribal land without the required South Dakota license, according to court papers. At least one of the outfitter's patrons saw what was happening and became upset, according to a federal indictment.

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