Duck hunter charged with wildlife trafficking
UPDATE: June 24 at 7:30 a.m.
A professional duck hunter and guide has pleaded guilty to federal wildlife charges in connection with the sale of illegal guided hunts.
Jeffrey Foiles of Pleasant Hill entered the plea Thursday in Springfield.
The U.S. Justice Department says Foiles violated the Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell wildlife taken in violation of federal law or regulation.
According to the plea agreement, from 2003 to 2007, Foiles sold and guided waterfowl hunts that exceeded hunters' individual daily bag limits. He's also accused of falsifying records to hide the excesses.
The Fallin' Skies Strait Meat Duck Club in Pike County, which operates Foiles' hunting club, also pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are seeking a 13-month prison term for Foiles when he's sentenced on Sept. 21.
UPDATE: December 10 at 5:19 p.m.
This story has generated a lot of interest.
Jeff Foiles is known around the nation as one of the biggest names in the waterfowl hunting industry.
It was pointed out to KHQA that Foiles is an eighteen time World, Regional, and State, goose and duck calling champion and Founder of Foiles Migrators. He has also hunted duck and geese and guided Waterfowlers for going on 40 years.
We did some digging and located several other websites where Jeff Foiles is the topic of conversation.Read more here at BowCountry.com.
A federal grand jury in Springfield, Ill., returned a 23-count felony indictment Thursday charging Jeffrey B. Foiles with conspiracy, wildlife trafficking, and making false writings in connection with the illegal sale of guided waterfowl hunts.
The indictment charges Foiles, 53, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and the federal false writings statute, 12 substantive violations of the Lacey Act, and ten counts of making false writings in a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell wildlife taken in violation of federal law or regulation. The act defines the sale of wildlife to include the sale of guiding services for the illegal taking of wildlife.
The indictment alleges that from 2003 to 2007, Foiles conspired with others to knowingly transport and sell ducks and geese that had been hunted and killed in violation of federal laws protecting migratory birds. In particular, Foiles is alleged to have sold guided waterfowl hunts at the Fallin TM Skies Strait Meat Duck Club in Pike County, Ill., for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing ducks and geese in excess of hunters TM individual daily bag limits. Foiles and his associates are also alleged to have falsified hunting records at the club in order to conceal the excesses, and to have filmed the illegal hunts for inclusion in commercial hunting videos.
The maximum penalty for a felony violation of the Lacey Act or the federal false writing statute includes up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the government of Canada. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney TMs Office for the Central District of Illinois and the Justice Department TMs Environmental Crimes Section.