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Two Kansas men charged with shooting, killing eagle could each face year in prison if convicted

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Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

WICHITA, KAN. –  Prosecutors filed charges Thursday against two Kansas men after a golden eagle was found shot to death, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Michael Dusin, 22, Phillipsburg, Kan., and Elijah J. Kuhlman, 22, Sharon Springs, Kan., are charged with violating the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Beall said according to court documents, it is alleged the two defendants were driving around in Wallace County when they saw what they later described as a large, black bird. Dusin told Kuhlman to back up so he could take a shot at the bird. Dusin shot the bird and it fell to the ground.

On Dec. 12, 2017, a natural resource officer with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism investigating a report of a dead Eagle found the eagle’s remains in a field and two spent shotgun shells in the road. With the help of the Wallace County Sheriff, investigators identified a Ford F-150 pickup belonging to Kuhlman that had been seen in the area. An autopsy performed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Ore., confirmed the Eagle’s remains contained 41 metal pellets.

If convicted, the defendants face up to a year in federal prison and a fine up to $100,000. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, he Wallace County Sheriff and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster is prosecuting.