Deer smuggler pleads guilty
POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 5:52am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 2:07pm
Tyler, Texas —
An East Texas deer breeder has agreed to pay a $1 million fine and $500,000 in restitution after pleading guilty
to deer smuggling, then lying about it to a federal agent.
Billy Powell entered the plea Tuesday before a federal judge in Tyler under terms of a plea deal with prosecutors. The deal that
capped a four-year federal and state investigation calls for Powell to serve three years' probation with six months of home
A Justice Department statement says Powell smuggled at least 37 white-tail deer to his Cherokee County farm, then falsely told a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent that he had illegally imported fewer deer than he actually had.
Texas restricts deer imports because of the threat of spreading or introducing diseases into the state's game population.