Parks chief leaving office

Columbus – Owners of a Highland County hunting preserve were
ordered to pay $4,582.44 in restitution and a $1,000 fine after
pleading guilty to federal wildlife trafficking violations.

In addition, both men were each sentenced to two years probation
and barred from deer propagation during the probation period.

Earl A. Boyd, 46, and son, Charles Clinton Boyd, 27, of
Hillsboro, Ohio, pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to violations of the Lacey
Act and were sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R.
Merz.

The Boyds own Ohio Whitetail Legends, a 200-acre wildlife
hunting preserve in Highland County. The preserve propagates and
buys commercially pen-raised deer from other propagators in Ohio
and other states, according to court filings.

The Boyds were required to keep written records of the deer
acquired by such purchases. The Boyds were also aware that any deer
coming into their preserve from out of state were required to be
tested, be certified as free of tuberculosis, ear tagged, and be
accompanied with a veterinarian’s certificate, according to a news
release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbus.

Any deer not certified as free of Chronic Wasting Disease cannot
be transported across state lines nor are deer purchasers permitted
to receive uncertified deer shipments, according to the U.S.
attorney’s office.

In October and November 2005, Charles Boyd ordered and received
two shipments of whitetails from Minnesota, according to court
papers. Only one of the approximately 16 deer transported to Ohio
was tested and certified by a veterinarian. Charles Boyd located
and purchased deer for the preserve, court papers stated.

Earl Boyd was accused of failing to record untested deer in
propagation records maintained by the preserve. Earl Boyd handled
paperwork related to deer purchases, according to the U.S.
Attorney’s office.

As result of the investigation, wildlife officials destroyed the
preserve herd of 150 adult deer and fawns so that the animals could
be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service and the Ohio DNR.

In an unrelated case, a Tuscarawas County man is on trial in U.
S. District Court in Columbus on felony violations of the Lacey Act
involving the shipment of whitetails to a game preserve in South
Carolina.

Danny L. Parrott of Kimbolton, Ohio, has pleaded not guilty to
one count of wire fraud and 14 Lacey Act violations.

If convicted, Parrott faces up to five years in prison on each
of the Lacey Act violations and up to 15 years in prison for wire
fraud.

Parrott is accused of transporting commercially raised
whitetails from Ohio in 2005 for release at a South Carolina
hunting lodge; falsifying documentation for the deer; and failing
to test the animals for disease, such as CWD and bovine
tuberculosis, as required by state and federal laws.

He is accused of purchasing whitetails from Ohio deer breeders
and reselling the deer to James Schaffer, of Charleston, S.C., to
establish a deer herd at Schaffer’s hunting preserve, according to
the indictment.

The indictment also accuses Parrot of conspiring with named and
unnamed conspirators to purchase whitetails in other states,
including Wisconsin, which has previously reported the fatal
CWD.

Schaffer, charged with Lacey Act violations in a related case,
is identified in court papers as the owner of land in Bamberg
County, S.C., described as a guided deer-hunting business called
Graham’s Turnout Hunt Co., catering to hunters from South Carolina,
Georgia, Florida and other locations.

Last March, Schaffer pleaded guilty in federal court in Columbus
to three federal misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act. He was
accused of conspiracy, false documentation and transporting the 54
propagated deer from Ohio. Schaffer testified in Parrott’s trial on
Oct. 8.

As a condition of his plea, Schaefer agreed to pay $50,000 to
the National Wildlife Trust Fund, $50,000 to the South Carolina
Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund, perform 500 hours of community service
in a South Carolina state park, and pay an estimated $95,000 in
restitution to the South Carolina Natural Resources Department for
testing and euthanizing the confiscated deer.

Schaffer faces up to 1 year in prison and up to a $100,000 on
each of three charges when he is sentenced by Judge James L.
Graham.

The Lacey Act was the nation’s first wildlife protection law,
signed by President William McKinley in 1900. It was introduced in
Congress by Iowa Congressman John Lacey.

Mostly amended in 1981, the Lacey Act makes it unlawful to
import, transport, sell, buy or possess fish, wildlife or plants in
interstate or foreign commerce in violation of any federal, state,
foreign or Native American tribal law, treaty or regulation.

The law also makes it illegal to mislabel wildlife shipments
that might harm native wildlife populations.

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