A Canadian outfitter and guide convicted of poaching in New Brunswick was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to 30 days in prison and fined $5,000 for illegally importing wildlife.
Daniel K. Dyer, 58, of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, admitted in May when he pleaded guilty to the charge that on Jan. 13, 2014, he brought moose antlers and a moose hide from an animal he knew had been killed illegally in Canada into the United States through the Houlton border crossing station.
U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy ordered Dyer to begin serving his sentence Jan. 4, 2019.
In April 2017, Dyer was sentenced in Edmundston provincial court to one of the “stiffest penalties” in the history of New Brunswick for violation of Canada’s Fish and Wildlife Act, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Dyer was ordered to serve a week in jail and fined more than $18,000.
The federal charge in Maine stemmed from a joint investigation by Canadian and American authorities into practices by Dyer’s business, Lawrence Dyer and Sons Outfitters, according the U.S. attorney’s office. Richard “Rusty” Eaton, 54, of Frazier’s Bottom, West Virginia, who was a friend of Dyer’s, killed the moose Sept. 28, 2013. The moose was then tagged, or registered, under a different name and hunting license number, according to court documents.
Dyer crossed the border from Canada into Maine on Jan. 13, 2014, with the moose antlers and hide, and drove to West Virginia to give them to Eaton, according to court documents. On the way, he dropped the moose hide off with a Pennsylvania taxidermist.
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, Dyer faced between four and 10 months in prison, according to his Bangor attorney, Jon Haddow.
“Seven witnesses addressed the court for sentencing, and the judge acknowledged that they credibly vouched for Mr. Dyer’s kindheartedness and generosity,” Haddow said after the sentencing. “The judge also acknowledged Mr. Dyer’s sincere acceptance of responsibility and remorse for his actions.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Moore, who prosecuted the case, recommended Dyer be sentenced to four months in prison and pay the $5,000 fine.
Moore said after the sentencing that Levy found that Dyer had obstructed justice by telling his friend who killed the moose to claim a different guide had shot it.
“Judge Levy stated the ‘cover-up is as bad or worse as the crime itself,’” Moore said. “Noting that the Fish and Wildlife Service had conducted a lengthy investigation that required significant government resources, Judge Levy added that a sentence which would deter others was necessary because ‘the crime is very difficult to detect.’”
Eaton pleaded guilty last year to one count of receipt of illegally taken wildlife in federal court in Maine, according to court documents. In August 2017, he was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 but was not sentenced to probation or prison time.
Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.