CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A Houston-area man has been put on three years of probation and must pay the maximum $15,000 penalty for illegal possession of a bald eagle.
Prosecutors in Corpus Christi say a judge sentenced 53-year-old Sam Mathew of Missouri City.
A jury in December convicted Mathew of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Mathew, who was sentenced Friday, must also do 150 hours of community service and take anger management classes.
Prosecutors say Mathew last year intended to catch a juvenile bald eagle and train it in falconry. Evidence indicated there was an active bald eagle nest on Mathew's property and he researched how to capture the animal. Tree climbing gear and ropes were recovered.
Mathew testified he was trying to help the bird, which was later taken to a sanctuary.