RAPID CITY, S.D. – A federal judge in South Dakota has sentenced a Montana man to three years in prison for trafficking eagle feathers, wings and tails.
Harvey Hugs, 59, of Hardin, Montana, was sentenced Monday in Rapid City. He was found guilty in February of three counts of violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Rapid City Journal reported.
It’s illegal to possess, use, or sell eagles or their parts in the U.S., though there are exceptions for cultural institutions and Native Americans using them in religious ceremonies. Federal officials operate a clearinghouse to make eagles and eagle parts available to tribal members, as well as authorized zoos and museums.
Authorities received information in 2020 that Hugs was involved in trafficking golden eagle feathers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. A search of Hugs’ home in March 2021 resulted in the seizure of additional eagle tails and wings.
Hugs sold golden eagle tails for several hundred dollars each, the statement said. He also sold a set of golden eagle wings and a tail for $1,000, then shipped the feathers to South Dakota.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.