Project Dakota Flyer Nets 15 Defendants

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that 15 individuals have been indicted for the illegal trafficking of eagles and other migratory birds. The Indictments are a result of a two-year undercover operation, dubbed Project Dakota Flyer.

Indicted Individuals Include:

Troy Fairbanks, 54, Rapid City, SD, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking, and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Lacey Act: CR 17-50036

Majestic Fairbanks, 22, Rapid City, SD, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking: CR 17-50036

Troy Young Fairbanks, 24, Rapid City, SD, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking: CR 17-50036

Alvin Brown Jr., 37, Ethete, WY, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking, and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Lacey Act: CR 17-50035

Michael Primeaux, 32, Parmelee, SD/ Ethete WY, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking, and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR 17-50035

Juan Mesteth, 39, Pine Ridge, SD, charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wildlife Trafficking, violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm: CR 17-50035

Aaron David West, 62, Eagle Butte, SD, charged with violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17-30051

Aaron David West Jr., 33, Eagle Butte, SD, charged with violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17-30051

Jorge Pena, 44, Mt. Vernon, IA, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17-50056

Valencia Neck, 38, Parmelee, SD, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17- 30050

Benjamin Iron Hawk, 44, Kyle, SD, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17- 30050

Chet Christensen, 66, Tuthill, SD, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17- 30052

Ronald Fisher, 64, Kyle, SD, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17-50057

Gary Fisher, 69, Gordon, NE, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17-50057

David Jasper, 60, Box Elder, SD, charged with violations of the Lacey Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act: CR-17- 30048

Initial appearances have been set for Monday May 1, 2017 in Rapid City, SD and Thursday May 4, 2017 in Pierre, SD. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Kelderman and Meghan N. Dilges are prosecuting the cases.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 • booster@gwtc.net