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TN: Mountain City man pleads guilty to hunting migratory game birds

Mountain City man pleads guilty to hunting migratory game birds

By Matthew Lane
Published June 23rd, 2009

GREENEVILLE A Mountain City man has pleaded guilty in federal court to hunting migratory game birds on a farm in Johnson County and could face a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Wiley B. Roark Jr. pleaded guilty to a three-count information in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. The information charges Roark with placing bait, taking migratory game birds and aiding others in similar acts.

Roark faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on the baiting charge and six months in prison and a $15,000 fine on the taking and aiding charges. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

According to court records, on Dec. 13, 2008, Roark, along with seven other adults, was at the Maymead Farm in Johnson County hunting migratory game birds, including ducks and geese. The hunting area included three duck blinds, two areas where decoy ducks and geese were placed, and the distribution of seed corn to attract and lure the birds to the hunting area.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers observed Roark and the others openly hunting the game birds during daylight hours, finding six dead mallard ducks in the bed of a truck parked near the hunting areas.

Court records state Roark claimed responsibility for killing two of the ducks and admitted he placed seed corn to lure and attract ducks and geese to the hunting areas, as well as helping the other seven to do the same.

The other hunters were invited by Roark and his father to hunt the game birds at the Maymead Farm.

According to the plea agreement, Roark will pay a $2,000 fine on the baiting charge and a $1,000 fine on both of the remaining two charges.

The slaughtered mallard ducks were migratory game birds as defined by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, a law passed to protect migratory game birds. More than 800 species are on the list, including the bald eagle, American black vulture, barn owl and red-tailed hawk.

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