MITCHELL, S.D. — A Letcher, S.D., man faces more than a year in jail for his role in the death of a bald eagle in 2015.
Ted Nelson, 69, was found guilty with unlawful taking of a bald eagle and unlawful use of the pesticide Carbofuran, a poison he injected in cow carcasses in order to kill predators, according to Wednesday’s news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.
Nelson’s convictions stem from incidents occurring between January 1 and May 12, when he knowingly injected a poison into dead cows to kill predators. According to a news release, Nelson’s actions led to the death of coyotes and a bald eagle, which died after eating a coyote carcass with poison in its system.
Carbofuran, which is toxic to wildlife, is used strictly for baiting purposes and is strictly prohibited. Laboratory results from the National Fish & Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Ore., confirmed the poisoning death.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges.
“The verdict in this case signified the public’s interest in ensuring laws are enforced that protected our natural resources,” Dilges said. “This case is a stark reminder that the illegal use of pesticides that ultimately kills protected wildlife is a crime that we take very seriously in the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
Nelson is currently in custody with the U.S. Marshals Service and a sentencing date has not been set.
Nelson faces a maximum penalty of 13 months in custody, a $26,000 fine, one year of supervised release, restitution and a $30 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.