A Missouri City, Texas, man has been accused of illegally possessing a bald eagle.
Sam Mathew, 53, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Victoria, Texas, on Thursday.
The indictment alleges Mathew possessed a migratory nongame bird, which is in violation of The Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Mathew was expected to turn himself in to federal authorities and make an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.
If convicted, Mathew could be sentenced to up to six months in federal prison. He faces a possible $15,000 fine.
The case was investigated by agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On this same story, Houston-based website KHOU.com recklessly reported, “It’s against federal law to hunt, capture, kill, possess or sell any migratory birds, including bald eagles.” This is obviously incorrect in that mourning dove, waterfowl, and other migratory game birds are legal to hunt and possess during appropriate seasons. –Don Zaidle, Editor-in-Chief