Meridian man pleads guilty to obstructing federal investigation into illegal black bear killing

JACKSON, MS – A Meridian man has plead “to violating the Endangered Species Act and to obstructing the federal investigation into the killing of a Louisiana Black Bear in Lauderdale County, Mississippi.”

According to U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, during a 2014 investigation, 28-year-old Travis Butler arranged for David Lucas Wimberly, a taxidermist in Quitman, Mississippi, to mount a Louisiana Black Bear illegally killed in the Whynot Community of Lauderdale County. Butler then transported the Bear to Wimberly’s Taxidermy in Quitman, Mississippi.

According to an official release, “Butler faces a up to a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison for obstructing the investigation and one year in prison under the Endangered Species Act.” In addition, Butler is not allowed to possess a firearm. He will be sentenced on September 3, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Davis also says, Wimberly and another man, Chester Brad Williams, also recently “pleaded guilty to an Endangered Species Act violation involving the same Louisiana Black Bear.” They both face a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison.



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