Nineteen-year-old, Trey Joseph Frederick of Beaumont, Texas pleaded guilty to charges of killing two Whooping cranes from the Louisiana non-migratory population. Recently he was sentenced to five years of federal probation, during which time he is not allowed to hunt or fish anywhere in the United States. He must also forfeit all of his guns, perform 200 hours of community service and pay restitution of over $25,000.00
In the past five years, over twenty Whooping cranes have been shot in the US. Most of those crimes go unsolved but even the criminals who are caught and prosecuted often only receive token sentences, like a one dollar fine. It costs thousands of dollars to reintroduce a Whooping crane. That value increases with every year it survives and approaches breeding age when it can contribute to the population.
It is good to finally see that at least one member of the judiciary recognizes the time, effort and money lost in such a senseless crime against nature. Our thanks to the prosecutors and U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.