Deer Smuggler to Pay $1 Million Fine
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 KLTV.com.
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.