- Associated Press - Friday, August 15, 2014

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) - Three east Mississippi men have been indicted on charges related to killing an endangered species.

Prosecutors say a Louisiana black bear was killed in January in Lauderdale County, Mississippi.

The indictment says 28-year-old Travis Butler of Meridian caused another person to kill the bear, then he and 49-year-old Chester Brad Williams of Meridian took it to a taxidermy business run by 34-year-old David Lucas Wimberly of Quitman. It says the men destroyed evidence after federal and state wildlife officers started investigating.

A lawyer for Wimberly couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Attorneys for the others weren’t listed. Trial is Oct. 6.

The top penalty for violating the Endangered Species Act is a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The penalty for obstructing an investigation is 20 years and $250,000.

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