(NEWSMAX) U.S. law enforcement agencies are conducting thousands of investigations using a law that makes violating state wildlife statutes a federal crime, often ensnaring hunters and fishermen for seemingly minor infractions.
Some even suffer stiff federal prison sentences.
Special agents and wildlife inspectors for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conduct about 2,500 investigative cases a year of violations of the Lacey Act, a 1900 law meant to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife. Additional probes of Lacey Act violations also are conducted by other federal agencies, as well as state and local governments.
Though a small percentage of the Lacey Act cases result in prison time, a high percentage plead guilty, consistent with a federal system in which 97 percent of cases end in plea deals.
But for those imprisoned, ensnared in costly investigations, or who pleaded guilty to reduced charges, the horrible repercussions can have a devastating impact on their livelihoods. Continue reading via Newsmax…