Deer Smuggler to Pay $1 Million Fine

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For the last four years Billy Powell, age 77, of Cherokee County Texas has been under investigation. He pled guilty and admitted lying to U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials who were investigating his activities. Powell is guilty of transporting over 37 whitetail deer, from various states into Texas. These actions are illegal, according to the Lacy Act, which prohibits illegal trafficking of wildlife for resale. Powell owns 5-P farms, a deer breeding facility. He would bring deer from other captive deer farms into his own. Texas does not allow the importing of deer due to the spread of disease.

Powell was forced to give up all of the illegally obtained deer, and any part of them. He has already turned over 1,300 straws of deer semen, valued at $961,500, to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife.

The deer on Powell's farm were examined for Chronic Wasting Disease and Bovine Tuberculosis. Neither of which have been seen in Texas, and there was a need to check Powell's imported deer along with all the deer they had been in contact with. There is no CWD test for live animals, the scientists and veterinarians conducting the tests euthanized all 334 deer at Powell's farm to run the test. From

Powell has agreed to pay a $1 million fine, to be deposited into the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Lacy Act Reward Fund, as well as a half-million dollars in restitution to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on his sentencing date. Along with the fine and forfeiture of all illegally obtained deer, Powell will serve 3 years probation, and the first 6 months he will be confined to his home, monitored with an ankle monitor. During his probation he can not participate in any part of commercial deer breeding. From the Daily Progress.


niceshot_smitty's picture

Wow!!!  1 million dollars. 

Wow!!!  1 million dollars.  that is a lot of doe,  fun in tended.  i am glad they are doing there job and trying there best to keep cwd out of Texas.  when it broke out here in New Mexico it put a hurt on 2 of the best hunting spots in the state.   I some time wonder why someone can be so greedy on making the super deer of tomorrow.  Let nature do what it does best and the deer or elk will be big on there own.   

hunter25's picture

Obviously there is a lot more

Obviously there is a lot more money involved in this business than I realized. Basically all added up it's a 2.5 million dollar fine. I wonder if he is able to just pay out the 1.5 million cash stated or not. All the deer were killed so there will be no future income from those and I would doubt he has that much money on hand to pay the fine. You would also think they would have to track down all the stuff he already sold as well to be sure.

Anyway it's a good catch for Texas to put a stop to the illegal activity. The spread of disease is a real threat these days and the laws need to be followed to prevent it.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Wow that is great news. 

Wow that is great news.  Almost just as bad as poacher,and could be worse and he could bring a diease that would kill as many or more deer than a poacher would.  I like the million dollar fine along with lossing $960,000+ in deer semen...almost like gett a  Two Million dollar fine.  Congrats to the state of Texas for sticking to this guy and making a great exmaple of him.