Federal authorities have not yet brought criminal charges against two Honduran nationals who allegedly shot and killed a bald eagle in Nebraska to eat it for dinner.
On February 28, Stanton County sheriffs arrested two Honduran nationals found carrying a dead bald eagle after responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle outside of the Wood Duck State Wildlife Management.
According to a press release issued by the Stanton County Sherrif’s Office:
On Tuesday afternoon at about 4:00 p.m. the Stanton County Sheriff’s office responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle just northwest of the main Wood Duck Recreation Area that is located about three miles southwest of Stanton. The vehicle was located in a field and while having contact with the two males it was determined that they had a dead North American Bald Eagle in their possession. Further investigation revealed that the two had shot and killed the protected national bird in that area and stated they planned on cooking and eating the bird. Nebraska Game and Parks was contacted and took custody of the eagle and the rifle used to kill the eagle.
The two individuals, 20-year-old Ramiro Hernandez-Tziquin and 20-year-old Domingo Zetino-Hernandez, spoke no English and only carried documents from the Honduran consulate as a form of identification, according to Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger.
Killing a bald eagle, the country’s national bird, violates the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, a federal law with a maximum punishment of one year in prison.
There is precedent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prosecute those suspected of killing or harming a bald eagle.
As the Washington Free Beacon detailed:
In June, a 79-year-old Tuscarawas County, Ohio, man pleaded guilty to killing a bald eagle while hunting groundhogs on his property. The man was forced to pay a $10,000 fine to the court and another $10,000 in restitution to the Fish and Wildlife Service. He was also barred from hunting for five years.
And in 2017 the feds brought charges against a 62-year-old Virginia man for shooting and killing a bald eagle. The man also ran over the bird with his all-terrain vehicle and said he was “upset it had been hunting and taking fish from a pond located on his property.” The man was sentenced to a month of house arrest and 100 hours of community service along with fines totaling $2,000.
Further, a woman was prosecuted, placed on probation, and fined $1,200 in 1995 after she gifted Hillary Clinton with a dreamcatcher made from bald eagle feathers.
However, Unger told the Free Beacon that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ignored his repeated requests for more information about the federal prosecution of the two Honduran nationals suspected of killing the bald eagle.
“I’m very frustrated with the federal government,” Unger said.
“I’m trying to be as politically correct as possible when I say this but I don’t know what kind of third-world life they’re coming from, but it must have been pretty bad,” Unger added.
Although federal authorities have not yet charged the men, Nebraska officials have charged them with two misdemeanors. Hernandez-Tziquin was also cited for driving without a driver’s license.
“More serious charges are possible as the investigation into the unlawful killing continues,” Unger said in a press release.
The photograph of the bald eagle will not be released because it is “very graphic” and “contains lots of blood,” Unger explained.
The two men reportedly told authorities they shot the bald eagle down with an “assault-style” air rifle and planned to eat it for dinner.
Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance (R) said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s hesitance to prosecute the men is “a metaphor for America in 2023.”
This story is a metaphor for America in 2023. https://t.co/o6lMDnmhYt
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 4, 2023
Donald Trump Jr. echoed Vance’s sentiments and argued the suspects are receiving extra protection from President Joe Biden’s federal government because of their immigration status.
“A metaphor of what’s happening to America,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “If an American citizen did this, even by accident, it would be an instant prosecution with severe consequences… but because they’re illegals they’re protected and therefore immune to consequences or accountability.”
A metaphor of what’s happening to America. If an American citizen did this, even by accident, it would be an instant prosecution with severe consequences… but because they’re illegals they’re protected and therefore immune to consequences or accountability. https://t.co/QQTFO3I2BF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 4, 2023