FRANKFORT, Ky. – A North Carolina man agreed to pay the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources more than $5,300 in restitution and fees after pleading guilty to federal charges of illegally killing and transporting wildlife from Kentucky.
U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel also banned 44-year-old Rodney L. Poteat of Salisbury, N.C., from hunting anywhere in the world for two years as a condition of unsupervised probation, according to David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. Poteat is a former resident of Hart County, Kentucky.
Poteat was charged in a two-count information on July 27. Goebel sentenced Poteat Sept. 7 in U.S. District Court at Bowling Green. The restitution is to compensate Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for the fees Poteat would have paid for hunting in Kentucky for several years.
According to court records, Poteat transported a 14-point white-tailed deer from Hart County to his North Carolina home on November 27, 2010. Poteat was required to purchase a non-resident hunting license and deer permit prior to hunting in Kentucky. He also was required to report the harvest of any deer taken in Kentucky, and to make a report before transporting the deer outside of Kentucky.
The case caught the attention of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife special investigations officers when hunters from the Hart County area reported that Poteat claimed one of his mounted deer was taken in North Carolina. However, the other hunters had trail camera photos taken in Hart County of a live deer with a distinctive antler configuration identical to Poteat’s deer mount.
Kentucky officers notified U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents of the investigation. Federal agents teamed with North Carolina officers for a visit to Poteat’s home.
Confronted with the photo evidence, Poteat admitted to hunting in Kentucky since 1999 without purchasing the required licenses. He surrendered four deer head mounts, two turkey mounts and a bobcat mount to investigators.
Poteat also plead guilty to knowingly transporting a bobcat from Kentucky to his North Carolina home without purchasing a non-resident hunting license prior to hunting in Kentucky. He also failed to report the harvest of a bobcat taken within Kentucky.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Ream prosecuted the case. Investigators with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the case.