2 plead guilty to shooting at birds, seals with bows and arrows

Posted Jan. 10, 2011, at 8:04 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Two Vinalhaven residents have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to attempting to kill federally protected marine mammals and attempting to kill federally protected migratory birds.

Stacey Wadleigh, 41, and Lawrence Sanborn, 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to shooting arrows 15 months ago at a harbor seal, migratory birds, gulls and black guillemots in Carvers Harbor.

Both were released on personal recognizance bail but forbidden from possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons such as bows and arrows. Other conditions of release include not consuming alcohol and seeking substance abuse treatment.

If the case had gone to trial, at least two witnesses were prepared to testify that they saw Wadleigh and Sanborn shooting arrows at seals and birds on Sept. 16, 2009, when the defendants were “running around Carvers Harbor in a Carolina skiff,” according to the prosecution version to which they pleaded guilty.

Wadleigh and Sanborn admitted in a Nov. 6, 2009, interview with investigators that they had been firing arrows at seals and birds two months earlier, the prosecution version stated.

Each faces up to 18 months in federal prison and fines of up to $115,000.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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