Man order to pay $95,000 after the illegal taking of Nebraska wildlife
OMAHA, Neb. (KLKN) — U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly released a statement on Wednesday announcing that 40-year-old Duane Mulvaine of Fox Lake, Wisconsin was sentenced in federal court for violating the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the trafficking in interstate commerce “tainted” (i.e., taken in violation of a law or regulation) wildlife, fish, or indigenous plants.
Mulvaine was convicted of six misdemeanor counts of the illegal taking of wildlife in interstate commerce and sentenced to five years probation on each count to be served concurrent. Mulvaine is also ordered to pay 50,000 dollars in restitution and a 45,000 dollar fine. As a part of his probation terms, he will not hunt, guide, outfit or otherwise engage in any activities associated with the hunting, guiding, or outfitting business.
Mulvaine also forfeited four scoped rifles, three suppressors, a compound bow, and a crossbow utilized in numerous unlawful hunts conducted by himself and Hidden Hills Outfitters, a commercial big game guiding and outfitting business located near Broken Bow, Nebraska.
In addition, he surrendered and abandoned 13 wildlife trophy mounts including three white-tailed deer, five mule deer, three pronghorn, a wild turkey, and a badger unlawfully taken at Hidden Hills Outfitters.
A joint investigation conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Law Enforcement Division determined that between 2012 and 2017, Mulvaine traveled to Hidden Hills Outfitters to conduct guided hunts for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn, and wild turkey. The investigation determined that during a number of these hunts, Mulvaine engaged in hunting activities which included hunting over bait, hunting from a public roadway, night, or without a permit, and hunting with prohibited weapons, all of which are in violation of Nebraska State law or regulation. The investigation determined that Mulvaine was associated with at least six specific illegal hunts. For each unlawful hunt, Mulvaine was accompanied by a Hidden Hills Outfitters owner or guide. He then subsequently transported the unlawfully-taken wildlife in interstate commerce back to his Wisconsin residence or taxidermist.
The Wednesday sentencing hearing is part of an ongoing prosecution of numerous defendants related to violations committed by owners, guides, and clients of Hidden Hills Outfitters. To date, 29 defendants have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced and ordered to pay a total of $343,048 in fines and restitution for underlying violations.