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Louisiana Man Convicted of Witness Tampering in Arkansas Endangered Species Case

Release Date: 07/27/2005
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Contact: Stacie Keller, 202-564-4355 / keller.stacie@epa.gov

(7/27/05) On July 14, Alfred Craft, of West Monroe, La., was found guilty by a jury on two felony counts of witness tampering in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. Previously, on March 8, 2005, Craft pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Federal Bald Eagle Act and two misdemeanor charges of violating the Migratory Bird Act, admitting that he intentionally lured and killed animals by baiting deer carcasses and sardine cans with Temik, a highly toxic poison that he was not licensed to possess. Also, on April 14, 2005, he went to trial on three counts of witness tampering and one count of violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by illegally using a restricted use pesticide. The first trial ended with a FIFRA conviction and a hung jury on the witness tampering charges. The testimony at trial claimed that Craft admitted to a witness he had been baiting foxes, bobcats, and coyotes on his land with poison-laced sardines, and in the process killed a bald eagle and two other migratory birds. In the witness tampering counts presented at the retrial, the evidence showed Craft threatened two witnesses and urged them to keep quiet about the investigation to federal authorities and instructed them on "how to testify." Killing endangered species harms the environment by reducing biodiversity and tampering with witnesses prevents the proper administration of justice. The case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife's Office of Law Enforcement and the Baton Rouge, La., Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock.