- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Two Wood River men have pleaded guilty and been fined in the killing of sandhill cranes and dumping of dead snow geese last month in east-central Nebraska.

Marco Zarraga was fined $525 and Adam Wagner $300 on Thursday in Hall County Court, the Grand Island Independent reported (https://bit.ly/1VHy9Su ). With costs, Zarraga, 20, paid a total of $573. Wagner, 24, paid $348.

On March 14, 150 to 200 dead snow geese were found in Merrick County. Days later, 10 dead snow geese and three sandhill cranes were left near Grand Island.

Authorities have said Zarraga killed the three cranes.

The cranes were shot with a rifle, said Nebraska Game and Parks conservation officer Tim Williams. Wagner was an accessory, Williams said.

It’s illegal to hunt sandhill cranes in Nebraska. Shooting snow geese is not a crime this time of year, but authorities said dumping the geese amounted to littering and shooting them from a roadway and from a vehicle was illegal.

Williams said another Hall County resident has been cited in Merrick County Court, but Merrick County Attorney Lynelle Homolka had not filed formal charges by Friday.


Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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