United States Attorney John M. Bales announced today that Blake Powell, a 32-year-old Cherokee County man, pleaded guilty to the charge of negligent transportation of wildlife before United States Magistrate Judith K. Guthrie.

Powell pled guilty to a three count information filed in court Monday.  According to the evidence presented in court, on three separate occasions Powell transported and possessed illegally imported, live whitetail deer valued at over $350.

Powell has agreed to pay a fine of $243,000 plus $157,000 in community restitution to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.

Powell owned and operated the Rockin’ P White Tails, a high-fence deer breeding facility in Cherokee County. On or about Feb. 17, 2007, in the Eastern District of Texas, Powell sold a live, whitetail deer, known as “Diablo” valued at over $350 that was acquired from an out-of-state source, which is prohibited by Texas law.  On or about March 4, 2007 Powell, sold 10 live whitetail deer, valued at over $350, and on or about Nov. 22, 2007 Powell, knowingly imported, transported, received, and acquired, in interstate commerce, a live whitetail deer, a buck known as “Thunderstruck”, valued at over $350 that was acquired from an out-of-state source.

The fair market value of all of the illegally imported, whitetail deer, including relevant conduct, exceeded approximately $208,500.  Additionally, through the unlawful importation of white-tail deer, Powell accumulated white-tailed deer semen valued at approximately $85,000 and progeny valued at approximately $172,500.

This case was investigated by the Special Operations Unit of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.

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