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Bartons plead guilty to Lacey Act violations

By Katie Zerr
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:39 PM CDT

Brent Barton and Dawn Barton, owners of South Dakota Adventures, appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Charles B. Kornmann on Thursday, Oct. 16, and pleaded guilty to Lacey Act violations.

Brent Barton, 47, owner operator of the hunting and fishing guide service located at Mina Lake and Mobridge, pled guilty to a felony Lacey Act violation charging him with conspiracy to violate state, tribal and federal wildlife regulations by taking of deer, pheasants, turkeys, and grouse without proper licenses and transferring big game licenses during outfitted hunts.

The hunts are alleged to have been conducted on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux Reservations through the guide service. The maximum penalty upon conviction is five years custody and a $250,000 fine, or both; three years supervised release and restitution.

Dawn Barton, 46, pled guilty to a misdemeanor Lacey Act violation for aiding and abetting several out-of-state hunters in unlawfully taking forty-eight pheasants from the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year in prison, $100,000 fine, or both; one year supervised release; and restitution.

The investigation was conducted by United States Fish and Wildlife Services, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department; and Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Fish and Game Departments.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date for Brent and Dawn Barton was set for February 2, 2009. The defendants were released on bond pending sentencing.

--Katie Zerr
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