- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Meridian man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of obstructing a federal investigation into the killing of a protected Louisiana Black Bear in east Mississippi.

Federal prosecutors say in a news release 28-yearold Travis Butler arranged on Jan. 4, 2014, for a taxidermist in Quitman to mount a Louisiana Black Bear illegally killed in the Whynot community of Lauderdale County.

When a federal and state investigation began into the killing, Butler persuaded the taxidermist to conceal the Black Bear’s hide.

Butler pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Jackson. He will be sentenced on Sept. 3. He faces a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison under the Endangered Species Act and faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison for obstruction.

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