PIERRE, S.D. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota says authorities are searching for a Pine Ridge man who is among 15 indicted for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds.
Office spokeswoman Ace Crawford said Tuesday that 14 people have pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges resulting from the two-year undercover operation.
Crawford says officials are still looking for 39-year-old Juan Mesteth, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and violations of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Mesteth’s indictment says he sold fans and eagle feathers to an informant. It says that Mesteth in 2015 discussed having connections who would take the informant hunting for eagles.
Court records don’t list an attorney for Mesteth who could comment for him.