CEDAR COUNTY, Neb. – United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced Wednesday that on March 20, 2019, United States Magistrate Judge Susan M. Bazis sentenced Abel Hernandez, age 27 of Yankton, South Dakota, to a three (3) year term of probation, 300 hours of community service, and a $1,250 fine following his misdemeanor conviction for his involvement in the killing of a federally protected bald eagle.
An investigation by Special Agents with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks determined that in January 2016 Hernandez and another individual shot and killed a bald eagle near Cedar County, Nebraska.Hernandez and the other individual used a modified shotgun shell loaded with .22 caliber air rifle pellets and a 20 gauge shotgun to kill the bald eagle.
Hernandez and the other individual then abandoned the bald eagle in Cedar County, Nebraska. Pictures recovered from a cell phone by law enforcement showed Hernandez posing with the dead bald eagle.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is steadfast in our commitment to enforcing wildlife laws and seeking justice against criminals who violate them,” said Richard Grosz, Resident Agent in Charge of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the Districts of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas. “We thank the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their help in this case and for sending a message that these types of crimes will not be tolerated.”