Lacey Act: Related Cases
|Hughes v. Oklahoma
|99 S.Ct. 1727 (1979)
The Oklahoma statute at issue prohibited transporting or shipping outside the State for sale natural minnows seined or procured from waters within the State. Appellant, who held a Texas license to operate a commercial minnow business in Texas, was charged with violating the Oklahoma statute by transporting from Oklahoma to Texas a load of natural minnows purchased from a minnow dealer licensed to do business in Oklahoma. In overruling Geer v. Connecticut, the Court held that the Oklahoma statute on its face discriminated against interstate commerce by forbidding the transportation of natural minnows out of the State for purposes of sale, and thus overtly blocking the flow of interstate commerce at the State's border.
|People v. Bootman
|72 N.E. 505 (N.Y. 1904)
This is one of the first cases to construe the issue of interstate commerce with regard to state game laws and the Lacey Act. Defendant purchased game birds that were killed outside of New York and brought them into the state when it was lawful to possess them. The court stated it was required by the rule of stare decisis to hold that the Legislature did not intend to make criminal the possession during the closed season of game killed and brought here during the open season. The court notes that the passage of the New York legislation occurred three months before the passage of the Lacey, thus having no effect. The court does go on to note the Legislature has now made it clear that it is well within state police power to regulate wildlife.
|Rupert v. U.S.
|181 F. 87 (8th Cir. 1910)
Paris N. Rupert, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously deliver to the Frisco Railroad Company, a common carrier, for transportation out of said territory and to the city of Chicago in the state of Illinois, the dead bodies of quail, which said quail had theretofore been killed in the Territory of Oklahoma in violation of the laws of said territory and with the intent and purpose of being shipped and transported out of said territory in violation of the laws of said territory. The court held that the territory of Oklahoma had the authority to provide by legislation, as it did, that wild game, such as quail, should not be shipped out of the state, even though the game was killed during the open season. Further, the act of Congress (the Lacey Act) is valid wherein it is declared that the shipment out of the territory in violation of the territorial law constitutes a crime under the national law.
|U.S. v. 2,507 Live Canary Winged Parakeets
|689 F.Supp. 1106 (S.D.Fla., 1988)
Plaintiff U.S. sought to forfeit the Defendant parakeets on the ground that they were imported in violation of Peruvian law and consequently, in violation of the Lacey Act. The court held that, if even the "innocent owner" defense was available under the Lacey Act (which the court held it is not under the forfeiture provision of the statute), the claimant importer never attempted to independently confirm or verify that the parakeet species in question (brotogeris versicolorus) could be lawfully imported from Peru. Thus, the court held the forfeiture valid where the U.S. established by probable cause to believe the Lacey Act was violated where the testimony at trial established that Peruvian Supreme Decree No. 934-73-AG prohibits from anywhere in the national territory the exportation of wild live animals coming from the forest or jungle region.
|U.S. v. 3,210 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare
|636 F.Supp. 1281 (S.D. Fla. 1986)
The plaintiff, the United States of America, seeks forfeiture of the defendant, 10,870 crusted sides of Caiman crocodilus yacare, an endangered species of wildlife (hides) transported from Bolivia to the U.S. in violation of the Lacey Act, among other statutes. The court found that the testimony concerning the shrinkage of the crocodile hides during tanning did not meet the buren of the claimed owners showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the hides, which were shipped from Bolivia under the size limit imposed by Bolivian law, were not subject to the forfeiture provisions of the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3374(a)(1) (1985). The provision of the Lacey Act at issue prohibits the interstate or foreign commerce of any wildlife taken in violation of any foreign law.
|U.S. v. 594,464 Pounds of Salmon, More or Less
|687 F.Supp. 525 (W.D. Wash. 1987)
Defendants were charged with exporting salmon from Taiwan in violation of Taiwanese regulations. The regulations and public announcement of the Taiwan Board of Foreign Trade restricting the export of salmon from Taiwan constituted "foreign law" as that term is used in the Lacey Act, despite the fact this was embodied in regulation, not statute. Moreover, this provision of the Lacey Act was not void for vagueness for failing to expressly state that the term "foreign law" encompassed both foreign statutes and regulations.
|U.S. v. Atkinson
|966 F.2d 1270 (9th Cir. 1992)
Melville O'Neal Atkinson was convicted of twenty-one felony violations of the Lacey Act for his role in organizing and guiding several illegal hunting expeditions. The court found sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction based on interstate commerce where, at the end of each illegal hunt, defendant arranged or assisted in arranging to ship deer carcasses to the hunters' homes outside the state.
|U.S. v. Bengis
|631 F.3d 33 (2nd Cir. 2011)
After two applications to seek compensation for South Africa were denied, the United States appealed the two orders and the 2nd Circuit held that South Africa (1) had a property interest in rock lobsters unlawfully harvested from its waters and (2) was a victim under the MVRA and VWPA. The 2nd Circuit therefore held that restitution was owed to South Africa and the case was remanded for the district court to calculate restitution.
|U.S. v. Big Eagle
|684 F.Supp. 241 (D.S.D. 1988)
On November 23, 1987, defendant, John Terrence Big Eagle, filed a motion to dismiss the indictment in this action on the grounds that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The indictment charges the defendant with violating the Lacey Act prohibitions against transporting, selling, or acquiring fish taken or possessed in violation of state law or Indian tribal law. The court held that the fishing regulations of the Lower Bule Sioux Tribe were applicable to defendant, a Native American of another tribe, and that this subjected him to prosecution under the Lacey Act.
|U.S. v. Bronx Reptiles, Inc.
|217 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2000)
After defendant received a shipment of dead frogs, he was convicted of violating a portion of the Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 42(c), which made it a misdemeanor to knowingly cause or permit any wild animal to be transported to the United States under inhumane or unhealthful conditions. Defendant appealed, and judgment was reversed and remanded with instructions to enter a judgment of not guilty. The government failed to meet its burden to prove not only that the defendant knowingly caused or permitted the transportation to the United States of a wild animal, but also that the defendant knew the conditions under which the frogs was transported were "inhumane or unhealthful."
|U.S. v. Bryant
|716 F.2d 1091 (C.A. Tenn., 1983)
Ricky Bryant appeals convictions on one misdemeanor and two felony counts of purchasing illegally obtained fox pelts, violations of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981, 16 U.S.C. § 3371-3378 (1981). The court held that the North Carolina regulation, which unambiguously prohibited the hunting of foxes without authorization and expressly stated that dealing in untagged pelts is illegal, withstood the void for vagueness test as prosecuted under the Lacey Act. The court further dismissed challenges based on an entrapment defense and arguments that the Lacey Act constitutes an unconstitutional delegation to the States of legislative power reserved to Congress.
|U.S. v. Cameron
|888 F.2d 1279 (9th Cir. 1989)
Defendant was a commercial fisherman and conditionally pled guilty to unlawfully acquiring and transporting halibut with market value of more than $350 and knowingly intending to sell illegally taken halibut in violation of Lacey Act after he exceeded the catch limits set by the Pacific Halibut Act. Defendant argued that the Lacey Act criminalized the same civil conduct regulated by the Halibut Act, thereby superseding that federal statute. The court disagreed, finding that the purpose of the Lacey Act was to strengthen existing wildlife laws where the underlying law did not specify exclusive control.
|U.S. v. Carpenter
|933 F.2d 748 (9th Cir. 1991)
Defendant owned a goldfish farm and hired lethal "birdmen" to kill various birds that interfered with his operation, including herons and egrets, by means of shooting, trapping, and poisoning. In reversing defendant's conviction under the Lacey Act, the Court disagreed with the government's position that the act of taking of the birds in violation of the Migratory Bird Treat Act also implicated the Lacey Act. The court held that the Lacey Act requires something beyond the first taking; indeed a person must do something to wildlife that has already been "taken or possessed" in violation of law.
|U.S. v. Doyle
|786 F.2d 1440 (9th Cir. 1986)
Doyle is a physician who lives in Texas and runs a bird rehabilitation center where he breeds captive falcons, hoping to reintroduce them. Here, the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for violation of the Lacey Act making it unlawful for any person to possess and transport in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or transported in violation of any state law (Montana). Although defendant obtained proper state permits to possess and transfer described falcons, defendant was aware that the falcons' origins had been misrepresented; therefore, defendant has sufficient knowledge under the statute.
|U.S. v. Fejes
|232 F.3d 696 (9th Cir. 2000)
The jury found that Fejes sold caribou in violation of the Lacey Act by providing guide services to two hunters that took the caribou in violation of Alaska law. The court held that a "sale" of wildlife for purposes of 16 U.S.C. § 3373(d)(1)(B) encompasses not only the agreement to provide guide or outfitting services, but also the actual provision of such services. Further, defendant was not entitled to instruction regarding alleged state law requirement that he transport illegally taken caribou because the evidence at trial unquestionably showed that he sold caribou in interstate commerce.
|U.S. v. Fountain
|277 F.3d 714 (5th Cir. 2001)
Roosevelt Fountain, Sr. ("Fountain") and his daughter, Shirley Fountain Ellison ("Ellison") operated an oyster fishing business in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, called Fountain Seafood, Inc., where their convictions arose from the manner in which they operated the business (i.e., tagging violations, taking of oysters from closed areas, taking of excess limits of oysters, and licensing violations). The indictment further contended that the appellants worked to accomplish this goal by creating false records relating to their oyster sales. The court held that it was not error for no instruction on the term "willfully," since the false record provision refers to "knowingly" as the mens rea requirement. Further, the court held that "materiality" is also not a provision of the Lacey Act's false records provision.
|U.S. v. Gay-Lord
|799 F.2d 124 (4th Cir. 1986)
Gay-Lord was found guilty of engaging in interstate commerce in striped bass (rockfish) in violation of regulations and statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia after purchasing the fish from undercover FWS agents and later selling it to an interstate distributor. The Court held that conviction was proper despite undercover agents having transported fish from Virginia to trafficker's place of business in North Carolina.
|U.S. v. Groody
|785 F.Supp. 875 (D. Mont. 1991)
In a Lacey Act prosecution for conspiracy to engage in conduct prohibited by the Act, the prosecution need not allege that all the defendants involved committed the underlying substantive violation of the Lacey Act to charge the defendants with conspiracy. Moreover, the alleged overt acts need not be criminal in nature.
|U.S. v. Guthrie
|50 F.3d 936 (11th Cir. 1995)
The court affirmed the decision of the district court which convicted defendant of violations of the Lacey Act (Act) and the Endangered Species Act. The court held that the Act was not unconstitutional, that defendant was not permitted to collaterally challenge an agency regulation on the grounds of new scientific evidence, and that the Secretary of the Interior's finding that the turtle was a valid species was not arbitrary.
|U.S. v. Hale
|545 U.S. 1112 (2005)
This opinion vacates and remands U.S. v. Hale, 2004 WL 2367994.
|U.S. v. Hansen-Sturm
|44 F.3d 793 (9th Cir. 1995)
Defendant shipped caviar made from the roe of Columbia River sturgeon, which he paid for in cash and fictitiously recorded the caviar as imported. The Company and Hansen-Sturm were indicted for the violations of the Lacey Act and for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. The court held that defendants could be convicted for the lesser included offense of conspiracy to perform a negligent act, even though it was based on a standard of negligence versus intentional conduct. The conspirators in the exercise of due care should have known that the protected prey was taken and possessed in violation of state law.
|U.S. v. Heuer
|749 F.Supp. 1541 (D. Mont. 1989)
Following his conviction for a violation of the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3371, et seq., Defendant Heuer moved for a new trial. Where defendant, who obtained guiding and license for hunting elk, engaged in conduct that involved purchase of elk, it was not necessary for government to prove such services occurred in interstate commerce for purposes of Lacey Act conviction.
|U.S. v. Lee
|937 F.2d 1388 (9th Cir. 1991)
Fishermen who took part in importing salmon that they knew or should have known had been taken in violation of Taiwanese regulation, could be subjected to criminal penalties for violation of the Lacey Act, despite the fact not all fishermen who were involved actually violated the Taiwanese regulation. The fishermen argue that the term "any foreign law" encompasses only foreign statutes, not foreign regulations; however, the court previously ruled that a Taiwanese regulation prohibiting the export of salmon without a permit constituted a "foreign law" under section 3372(a)(2)(A) and thereby supported an Act violation.
|U.S. v. Lewis
|240 F.3d 866 (10th Cir. 2001)
A jury convicted defendant of one count of violating the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C.S. §§ 3371-3378. The jury found that defendant had violated Oklahoma law by capturing wild elk, holding them captive, and organizing at least one commercial elk hunt, without a license for those activities. The court affirmed. Violation of a state hunting law was an adequate basis for a Lacey Act prosecution. There was sufficient evidence to prove that the Oklahoma statute regarding commercial hunting licenses applied to defendant, and that defendant had knowledge of the statute's requirements.
|U.S. v. McDougall
|25 F.Supp.2d 85 (N.D.N.Y. 1998)
Defendants Goodfriend and Benney, commercial fishermen licensed pursuant to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC"), are charged with catching and failing to return substantial quantities of eel and walleye from Lake Ontario and New York waters in violation of New York law that prohibits commerce in these fish because of health and conservation concerns. Aware of the ban prohibiting the sale of eel and walleye taken from these waters, Goodfriend and Benney subsequently sold the eel and walleye to a host of fish wholesalers and retailers, located within and outside New York. Defendant truck driver's alleged filing of false Canadian customs forms relating to eel and walleye he was transporting from the U.S. to his Canadian employer were violations of the Lacey Act, regardless of whether these acts violated Canadian law.
|U.S. v. Miranda
|835 F.2d 830 (11th Cir. 1988)
Jesus Ismael Miranda with his company, J.M. Seafood, Inc., and Mario Gonzalez with his company, Mario Seafood Company, were convicted of conspiring in Florida to sell undersized spiny lobster tails, also known as "shorts." The case was ultimately dismissed without prejudice because of a violation of the Speedy Trial Act. The court did find sufficient evidence that defendant and his company conspired to sell undersized spiny lobster tails where an undercover agent found sufficient connections in the form of conversations and business dealing between defendant and co-defendant Gonzales.
|U.S. v. Mitchell
|985 F.2d 1275 (4th Cir. 1993)
Defendant, a zoologist working for the Department of Interior, was charged in nine count indictment taking and transporting animals in violation of foreign law under the Lacey Act among other violations. Defendant filed motion to dismiss and government filed motion to determine foreign law. The government alleged in Count 8 that in September of 1987, Mitchell transported the hides and horns of a Punjab urial (wild sheep) and a Chinkara gazelle out of Pakistan and into the United States knowing that the animals had been taken, possessed or transported in violation of Pakistani law; the Pakistani Imports and Exports (Control) Act of 1950 and the Punjab Wildlife Act of 1974. The court rejected defendant's reading of the imports and exports law and found it unnecessary to determine the constitutionality of the Punjab Wildlife Act as the Lacey Act impinges on whether defendant violated the portions of the law prohibiting possession of the animals without a permit.
|U.S. v. Molt
|599 F.2d 1217 (3rd Cir. 1979)
Defendants were indicted for conspiracy to smuggle snakes and other reptiles into the United States in violation of the Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C.S. § 43. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss counts based on alleged violations of the laws of Fiji and of Papua New Guinea, finding that foreign laws and regulations referred to in the statute were designed and intended for the protection of wildlife in those countries. On appeal, the trial court's order dismissing an indictment against defendants for smuggling wildlife was affirmed as to Fiji, where the regulation relied on was a revenue ordinance. The court reversed as to Papua New Guinea where the law was intended to protect wildlife in the country of origin.
|U.S. v. Molt
|631 F.2d 258 (3rd Cir. 1980)
The court affirmed a judgment of sentence entered following defendant's conditional plea of guilty to smuggling and to violating the Lacey Act. The court held that the district court properly denied defendant's Speedy Trial Act motion where defendant incorrectly computed the number of excludable days. Therefore, the court concluded that more than 120 non-excludable days did not elapse between the indictment and the trial.
|U.S. v. One Afghan Urial Ovis Orientalis
|964 F.2d 474 (5th Cir. 1992)
Claimant appeals the order granting summary judgment to the government in a order of forfeiture under the Lacey Act for the hide and parts of a sheep killed in Pakistan and exported to the U.S. Claimant argues that because there is no national Pakistani law enacted for the protection of wildlife, no Pakistani law interferes with his right to remove the respondent sheep from Pakistan based upon the provincial permit. The court disagreed, noting the Pakistan Constitution honors provincial law to the extent that it does not conflict with national law and Pakistani law prohibits the export of "wild animal skins and garments made from such skins, products or derivatives of such skins." The Court held that the Government established probable cause for the forfeiture, and Claimant did not demonstrate that any genuine issue of material fact exists which would preclude the award of summary judgment.
|U.S. v. One Bell Jet Ranger II Helicopter
|943 F.2d 1121 (9th Cir. 1991)
Sam Jaksick, Michael Boyce, and Chris Christensen were charged with conspiring to violate both the Airborne Hunting Act (AHA), 16 U.S.C. 742j-1 and the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981. They were also charged with knowingly using a helicopter to harass bighorn sheep in violation of the AHA. After a jury acquitted of the last two charges, the government, still convinced that the bighorn sheep had been harassed by the hunters, then brought this forfeiture action. While the court denied the forfeiture based for the most part on actions by the government in the case, it did hold that defendants' use of the helicopter to get as close as possible to identify the best trophy ram constituted sufficient intent for harassment under the Airborne Hunting Act.
|U.S. v. Proceeds from Sale of Approximately 15,538 Panulirus Argus Lobster Tails
|834 F. Supp. 385 (S.D. Fla. 1993)
This case arose out of the seizure of some 15,538 lobster tails of the species Panulirus argus, more commonly known as "spiny lobster," imported into the United States by the Claimant Lista Enterprises Seafood, Inc. from the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean. The court held the government had probable cause to seize the lobster tails based on the weight criteria established under Turks and Caicos law. Under the Lacey Act, anyone who "knowingly" imports fish or wildlife taken in violation of foreign law may be assessed a penalty of $10,000 per violation, where "knowingly" refers to situations where the violator knew or should have known that the wildlife was taken in violation of law.
|U.S. v. Rioseco
|845 F.2d 299 (11th Cir. 1988)
After defendant was found fishing in the Cay Sal Bank area of the Bahamas, Coast Guard officers informed appellant that possession of a Bahamian fishing license was necessary to fish in those waters and that failure to possess such a license would render such fishing a contravention of the United States Lacey Act. On appeal, defendant contended that the Lacey Act is unconstitutional in that it incorporates foreign law, thereby delegating legislative power to foreign governments. The court found that the Lacey Act which prohibited the possession or importation of fish and wildlife taken in violation of foreign laws, was not an improper delegation of legislative power simply by its reference to foreign law.
|U.S. v. Santillan
|243 F.3d 1125 (9th Cir. 2001)
Santillan was prosecuted under the Lacey Act for bringing ten baby parrots across the border from Tijuana. His appeal raises, among other issues, a significant question about the mens rea needed under the Lacey Act. The court held that the Lacey Act does not require knowledge of the particular law violated by the possession or predicate act, as long as the defendant knows of its unlawfulness.
|U.S. v. Senchenko
|133 F.3d 1153 (9th Cir. 1998)
During the two year period alleged in the indictment, between September 1993 and September 1995, government agents found or were directed to four illegal bear snares in Colville National Forest, Washington that were later linked to defendant. The Lacey Act provision that makes it felony to knowingly engage in conduct that involves intent to sell wildlife with market value in excess of $350 encompasses several types of conduct in furtherance of commercial activity (transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, and purchasing wildlife) and government could aggregate value of parts related to such conduct to arrive at requisite $350 value, because defendant's various acts formed a single continuing scheme.
|U.S. v. Stenberg
|803 F.2d 422 (9th Cir. 1986), superceded by statute in U.S. v. Atkinson, 966 F.2d 1270 (9th Cir. 1992)
These three cases arose out of an undercover investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) into the illegal taking and sale of wildlife in interstate commerce, where defendants were engaged in the guiding and hunting business wherein customers would pay for illegal big game hunts. The court denied defendants' defense of outrageous government conduct and entrapment. It also held that the Lacey Act clearly notifies individuals that participation in prohibited transactions involving wildlife with a market value greater than $350 subjects them to felony prosecutions, thus defeating defendants' challenge of vagueness to the statute. Notably, the court reversed convictions on the fact that the provision of guiding services or providing a hunting permit does not constitute the sale of wildlife for purposes of the Lacey Act (this was amended in 1988 to include guide services, which overturned this decision. See U.S. v. Atkinson, 966 F.2d 1270 (9th Cir. 1992).
|U.S. v. Taylor
|585 F.Supp. 393 (D.C. Me. 1984)
The defendant moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that Maine section 7613 (related to the importation of fish bait species) places an impermissible burden on interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. While the court noted there is nothing in either the statute or its legislative history which expresses the clear intent of Congress that the Lacey Act Amendments are meant to insulate state legislation from attack under the Commerce Clause, it found that the somewhat unique characteristics associated with Maine's wild fish population, the substantial uncertainties surrounding the effects these organisms have on fish and the unpredictable consequences attending the introduction of exotic species into Maine's wild fish population (including the introduction of fish parasites into the native population), the state clearly has a legitimate and substantial purpose in prohibiting the importation of live bait fish.
|U.S. v. Thomas
|887 F.2d 1341 (9th Cir. 1989)
The issue in this case is whether Edward A. Thomas, a Montana hunting guide and outfitter, may be found guilty of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act where the alleged object of the conspiracy was "to transport, receive and acquire elk in interstate commerce ... in violation of Montana state hunter's law." The Court held that while a prosecution under the Lacey Act may not be sustained for the substantive acts of selling guiding services and hunting permits, an action can be maintained for conspiracies to violate the Act through these types of acts. In this case, the underlying violations were acts of hunting with a transferred license or permit where the acts were allegedly committed by others.
|U.S. v. Tierney (Unpublished)
|38 Fed. Appx. 424 (9th Cir. 2002) (unpub.)
The district court did not err by denying the defendant's proposed entrapment instruction and that Nev. Admin. Code 504.471 is not unconstitutionally vague. He did not present evidence to support his position on either element. Rather than indicating government inducement or lack of predisposition, the evidence showed that the government merely provided the defendant with an opportunity to sell what he was already ready and willing to sell. The court also found the meaning of "wildlife" under Nevada law was not unconstitutionally vague.
|U.S. v. Todd
|735 F.2d 146 (C.A. Tex. 1984)
Larry Todd and James Short appeal their convictions for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act which prohibits the sale of wildlife taken or possessed in violation of federal law--here, The Airborne Hunting Act, 16 U.S.C. § 742j-1 (1976). The court held that the judge's failure to give instructions related to the dates of the alleged acts constituting the conspiracy did not raise an ex post facto challenge since the facts allege only two overt acts that occurred prior to the effective date of the Lacey Act amendments; all of the other acts occurred during the effective period of the amendments and most of the evidence focused on events that occurred within the effective date of the amendments. The appellants also contend that the government failed to establish that the game taken had a market value in excess of $350. The court held that the evidence was insufficient to support Short's conviction under the substantive violation of the Lacey Act because the government offered no evidence that the value of the dead eagle, deer, or javelina exceeded $350.
|U.S. v. Tomono
|143 F.3d 1401 (11th Cir. 1998)
Kei Tomono pleaded guilty to violations of the Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3372(a)(1) & 3373(d)(1)(B), and the federal anti-smuggling statute, 18 U.S.C. § 545, in connection with his illegal importation of reptiles. At sentencing, the district court granted a three-level downward departure for what it termed "cultural differences." The court held that "cultural differences" were not significant enough to remove this case from the body of cases contemplated by the Sentencing Guidelines so as to allow for downward departure.
|U.S. v. Williams
|898 F.2d 727 (9th Cir. 1990)
Kenneth Ray Williams appealed his conviction for the illegal hunting of moose in violation of the Lacey Act. Williams claimed that his conviction should be overturned because the government failed to establish the validity of use of the wildlife law against a tribe member. The United States argued that there is no need for the government to establish the validity of the law's use against a tribe member. The court affirmed the conviction and held that the government must establish the validity of the use of wildlife laws against tribe members but that similar laws enacted by the tribe can establish this validity.
|U.S. v. Zarauskas
|814 F.3d 509 (1st Cir. 2016)
|Defendant was found guilty by a jury of illegally importing narwhal tusks under several federal laws, including the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, among others. On appeal, defendant contends that the district court erred by allowing and failing to cure statements by the prosecutor that allegedly violated defendant's Fifth Amendment protections. Prior to being charged, defendant met with FWS and Canadian agents where he did not proclaim his innocence when questioned on the tusks. In the process of showing inconsistency in defendant's statements, the prosecutor pointed out defendant's failure to state his innocence with the federal agents, which defendant claimed improperly burdened him at trial. Other arguments by defendant also pointed to error by the prosecution during direct examination and rebuttal argument with respect to defendant's silence during interviews with agents. The appellate court found the errors to be harmless or in response to defendant's attorney's statements. Finally, as a matter of first impression, the court found that Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) reports logging date, time, and location of border crossing and license plate of the vehicle were admissible hearsay. The convictions were affirmed.
|United States of America v. Kraft
|2005 WL 578313 (U.S., Dist. of Minn. 2005)
A man was charged and convicted for violating the Lacey Act after illegally selling a tiger and grizzly bear. The trial court admitted the man's conversation into evidence in which he implicated himself in the illegal sale of a grizzly bear. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court holding the man's conversation was not protected by the Sixth Amendment because it was made before there were specific charges against him for the illegal sale of the grizzly bear.
|United States Association of Reptile Keepers, Inc. v. Jewell
|103 F. Supp. 3d 133 (D.D.C. 2015)
|On a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin implementation of the 2015 Rule (80 Fed.Reg. 12702 ), the US District Court for the District of Columbia addressed whether the U.S. Department of Interior acted within its authority when it issued Lacey Act regulations prohibiting the interstate transportation of certain large constricting snakes. The United States Association of Reptile Keepers argued that since the Lacey Act “[did] not encompass transportation of listed species between two states within the continental United States,” the Department of Interior exceeded its authority. Relying on the history of zebra mussels and bighead carp, the Department argued that it did not. The Court, however, found the Department had failed to establish that that history was sufficient to confer an authority on the Department that Congress did not confer when it enacted the controlling statutory text. The Court ruled the preliminary injunction would issue and ordered the parties to appear for a status conference on May 18, 2015 to address the scope of the injunction.
|United States of America v. Hale
|113 Fed.Appx. 108
A couple owned and operated a caviar business. They were convicted of violating the Lacey Act by purchasing and selling paddlefish eggs during the closed season, falsifying records and operating a fish dealership without a license. The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. This Judgment was Vacated by Hale v. U.S ., 125 S.Ct. 2914 (2005).
|United States of America v. James and Thomas Allemand
|34 F.3d 923 (10th Cir. 1994)
The jury convicted the Allemands of conspiring to export illegally taken wildlife and to file false records concerning wildlife intended for export. The court held that any error in the trial court's failure to instruct the jury that it could convict for conspriacy to make and submit false records concerning wildlife export only if conspirators intended to violate the law it was amended in 1988 was harmless where almost all the evidence adduced at trial related to acts from a time after the amendment was effective.
|United States of America v. Lawrence J.Romano
|929 F.Supp. 502 (D. Mass. 1996)
On July 7, 1995, a grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against the defendant charging him with violations of the Lacey Act; defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the indictment. The court found that the Lacey Act embodies Congress' valid exercise of commerce power even when applied to a recreational hunter who purchased hunting guide services in violation of state law.
|United States of America v. Victor Bernal and Eduardo Berges
|90 F.3d 465 (11th Cir. 1996)
Victor Bernal and Eduardo Berges were convicted of various crimes in connection with an attempt to export two endangered primates--an orangutan and a gorilla--from the United States to Mexico in violation of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. While the main issue before the court was a downward departure in sentencing guidelines, the court found the purpose of the Lacey Act is protect those species whose continued existence is presently threatened by gradually drying up international market for endangered species, thus reducing the poaching of those species in their native countries.
|United States v. 144,774 Pounds Of Blue King Crab
|410 F.3d 1131 (9th Cir. Wash., 2005)
An importer of 144,774 pounds of cooked, frozen blue king crab was charged with violating the Lacey Act for taking the crab in violation of Russian fishing regulations. The crab is subject to forfeiture under the Lacey Act on a strict liability basis, but the importer asserted an "innocent owner" defense. The trial court denied the owner's defense and the Court of Appeals affirmed, reasoning if the crab was illegally taken under Russian law then it is considered contraband for Lacey Act purposes regardless of its status under U.S. law.