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.

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  1. lilbirdz October 31, 2016 12:01 pm

    The judge gets it. We get it. Millions of folks get it. I’m glad that he had to surrender his guns, but I hope that the sheriff or warden who tracked the killings to him continues to monitor this guy, who will most likely get more guns and hunt again. Will he ever pay a fraction of the $25,000? What happens when he violates probation? Yes, I am cynical about the enforcement, but I am thrilled that there is a strong legal precedent set by Judge Hawthorn.


  2. Elsie Sealander October 28, 2016 5:05 pm


  3. Barb October 26, 2016 2:41 pm

    It’s about time that punishment is handed out for people like Trey. I certainly hope the community service involves working for his local Agricultural Department, his local Extension Office, or perhaps at a local zoo/rehab facility that works with birds.

  4. Dorothy N October 26, 2016 10:30 am

    Well said!! I’ve been very disappointed with the judgments of the past. FINALLY a judge gets it.

  5. Mollie Cook October 26, 2016 10:24 am

    Yes Joe justice FINALLY in this case but the fight goes on to make this a felony so even stiffer sentencing can be handed down for these crimes. We celebrate this victory with you & continue our efforts to protect all species so that many generations to come will know them & learn from them. As always, thank you Joe & the OM team for everything (and more) that you do!

  6. Ruth Kazmer October 26, 2016 7:29 am

    No amount of money nor punishment can replace what was lost the fateful day this young person so thoughtlessly destroyed two beautiful cranes. It does suggest however, that the powers that be may finally be understanding what has been lost. Hopefully this case will be the beginning of tougher, appropriate punishment for those who do not see the cowardly deed they perpetrate as a crime against us all. Thank you, Judge Hawthorn, and the prosecutors involved in this case. Job well done.

  7. Patti Hakanson October 26, 2016 6:47 am

    Hallelujah!!! About time these birds got some FAIR justice. Hope fully this sets an example for fools who might think to do this-in the future!