The pre-conference hearing was held yesterday afternoon for the accused shooter of two Whooping Cranes in Jefferson County, Texas in January 2016. The defendant, Trey Joseph Frederick, pled guilty to one count of a Class A misdemeanor for the “taking” of a Whooping Crane under the Endangered Species Act (there is not a felony charge associated with violating the Endangered Species Act).
In pleading guilty, Frederick waived his right to a jury trial and will be sentenced at a later date. A pre-sentencing report will be prepared by the Federal Probation Department in Beaumont, Texas within the next three months.
Under this conviction, Frederick’s penalties could be up to $50,000 with a combination of probation/jail time. Sentencing will be at the discretion of the judge after he receives the probation officer’s pre-sentencing report.
A large group attended the hearing, which conveys the seriousness of this crime to the judge. We will ensure that the right information gets to the staff charged with developing the pre-sentencing report and reaffirm our position that Frederick should receive maximum fines and penalties for this egregious act.