HATTIESBURG, MISS– Three Mississippi men plead guilty to charges related to importing white-tailed deer into the state, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
Coleman Virgil Slade of Purvis, Don Durrett of Aspermont, Texas, and Dewayne Slade of Purvis all entered guilty pleas on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.
Coleman Slade plead guilty to one felony conspiracy count. His sentencing is scheduled for November 21. He faces a penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Don Durrett and Dewayne Slade each pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of conspiracy, order to pay $10,000 in fines, serve probation for three years, and banned from hunting for one year.
From January 2009 to December 2012, the three said they spent over $100,000 importing white-tailed deer from Texas to Mississippi. The deer were transported to a high-fence enclosure in Lamar County. The purchases were hidden through false documentation and transportation records.
Federal agents said they will continue to enforce the laws regarding the illegal imports of live animals.
“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing the Lacey Act and other federal laws to protect our wildlife resources,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. “We will continue to work closely with USDA, OIG, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to enforce the Lacey Act.”