Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hudson man goes to federal prison for six months for killing a bald eagle

TAMPA — A Hudson man who shot a bald eagle while illegally hunting in Ruskin in 2008 was fined $500 Friday and sentenced to six months in prison followed by a year's probation.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Jesse Barresse, 33, in federal court. He was convicted of violating the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act in connection with his actions during an illegal duck hunting trip on Jan. 13, 2008.

Referencing his upbringing in rural Putnam County, Merryday said it sends shivers down his spine to think about crimes like the one Barresse committed.

"I don't know what kind of person pulls out a shotgun and guns down a bald eagle," Merryday said. "I think somebody who would do that needs to take a long look at themselves."

Barresse's arrest came after he bragged about killing the eagle, U.S. fish and wildlife officials said. Wildlife agents heard about it while investigating the shooting of another bald eagle in a separate, unrelated case in Manatee County.

Barresse was wanted in Missouri at the time on drug-related charges. U.S. marshals and fish and wildlife agents arrested him at his girlfriend's home in Hudson on Feb. 1 on that outstanding warrant, officials said.

He initially said he thought he had shot an osprey, another federally protected species, but later confessed to shooting the eagle, officials said. Two witnesses also gave statements implicating him.

Barresse pleaded guilty to the shooting in February.

The bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list last year, officials said. But the eagle is still protected under Florida law, which makes wounding or killing one a third-degree felony.

Hudson man goes to federal prison for six months for killing a bald eagle 06/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 5, 2009 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  2. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  3. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  4. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  5. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'


    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."