Louisiana Man Given Five Year Prison Sentence for Poisoning Eagle in Region 8

FEBRUARY 14, 2006 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Louisiana man will serve five years in prison and pay a $50,000 fine for poisoning a bald eagle and two vultures at a farm he owns in Arkansas.

Alfred Craft, 61, also threatened people to keep quiet about what happened on his Izard County farm.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright enhanced Craft's sentence because of Craft's efforts to obstruct justice by threatening a former employee and ex-wife, to keep them from testifying.

Craft pleaded guilty last spring to one misdemeanor charge of violating the federal Bald Eagle Act and two misdemeanor charges of violating the Migratory Bird Act.

Craft was sentenced Monday in Little Rock.  Prosecutors played tape-recordings of conversations Craft had with his daughter and her husband.  In those conversations, which Craft didn't know were being taped, he described the judge in graphic language and called her courtroom a "kangaroo court."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)