United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Jeffery Jessop, age 51, of Presho, South Dakota appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on June 12, 2013 and pled guilty to the charge of Unlawful Taking of Bald and Golden Eagles and Migratory Birds.
Jessop was sentenced to 1 year unsupervised probation, a $35 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and restitution in the amount of $56,250.
Jessop was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 16, 2013. The charges stem from an incident occurring between September 28, 2009 and September 28, 2012, wherein Jessop illegally shot and killed at least three mature Bald and Golden Eagles and at least 15 Hawks at his ranch in Lyman County, South Dakota. Jessop illegally killed these federally protected birds with three firearms that have been forfeited. After killing the birds, Jessop would burn the remains and then dump them in a trash pit on his property.
The investigation was conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.