KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to two years on federal probation, during which he is prohibited from hunting, for stealing a tractor and hunting in Kansas in violation of the federal Lacy Act, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. In addition, he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, and $6,894 in restitution.
Thomas Morgan, 31, Blue Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines and one count of violating the Lacy Act, which prohibits interstate transportation of wildlife that was illegally taken.
In his plea, Morgan admitted a Rice County deputy stopped him in November 2013 after Morgan had been hunting deer in Stafford County without a license or deer permits. Morgan had been illegally hunting in the dark. Investigators found deer heads in his car. A search warrant at his home turned up heads, antlers, skulls and capes of deer.
During the investigation, agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service learned Morgan was involved in the theft of a Kubota tractor in Miami County. The tractor was found at Morgan’s residence.
Grissom commended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the Rice County Sheriff’s Department, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.