Cecil County man fined $1,000 in eagle's death

January 30, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Cecil County man has pleaded guilty to killing an American bald eagle in February and was fined $1,000, given a year's probation and ordered to forfeit his 12-gauge shotgun by a U.S. District Court magistrate.

Adam Criss Bennett, 71, of Camp Meeting Ground Road in Port Deposit could have received two years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but at Wednesday's sentencing in Baltimore, Magistrate Susan K. Gauvey was lenient because of Bennett's age and health, said Richard McIntire, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR Police Cpl. Ronald Harris reported a couple saw Bennett shoot the eagle Feb. 27 near Bennett's home.

An investigation found that Bennett hid the dead bird in a hedgerow and that DNA tests on feathers and blood confirmed they were from a bald eagle.

The bald eagle, the American symbol, is a federally protected species and has been making a comeback in recent years because of a ban on DDT and other toxic pesticides.

In 1996, DNR wildlife biologists confirmed 10 occupied bald eagle nests in Cecil County, containing 11 adult pairs and their young.

Pub Date: 1/30/98

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