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Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee (Madison County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Jackson
Description: Jackson, Tennessee criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and the unlawful taking of a bald eagle.
On March 21, 2021, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Agents and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officers received a report of a bald eagle carcass in Tiptonville, Tennessee. Through witness interviews and the execution of search warrants on Jason Perkins’s home and his father’s home, officers determined that Perkins, age 44, of Tiponville, shot the bald eagle and that he was previously convicted of felony offenses. A 12-gauge shotgun and .357 handgun possessed by Perkins were recovered.
United States Attorney Ritz stated, “The bald eagle has been a symbol of our country since 1782. This defendant, a felon, shot and killed one of these great birds—violating federal law in the process. I appreciate the federal, state, and local partners who worked to bring him to justice.”
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Atlanta, GA Special Agent in Charge, Stephen Clark stated, “United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, is committed to working collaboratively with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. The illegal taking of a bald eagle is a violation of numerous federal statutes and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We will continue to work closely with our state partners to conduct these criminal investigations.”
United States District Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Perkins to 24 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
This case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
United States Attorney Kevin Ritz thanked former Assistant United States Attorney Matt Wilson and Assistant United States Attorney Christie Hopper who prosecuted this case, as well as the law enforcement partners who investigated the case.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 24 months in prison.