Federal investigators have charged over a dozen people in South Dakota for illegally trafficking eagles and other migratory birds.
FOX's Jeff Monosso reports:
15 people are indicted in a trafficking scheme that South Dakota U.S. attorney Randy Seiler described as a chop shop involving hundreds of birds including protected American bald eagles. He also says that none of the items sold to undercover agents in a two year investigation were for cultural or religious purposes.
(Seiler) "This was a for profit operation and the feathers, and the eagle parts and the eagle talons, and eagle beaks were treated like merchandise."
The 15 suspects include Native Americans and non-natives. They likely also face significant additional federal charges. The suspects are due in court in South Dakota next week.
Jeff Monosso, FOX News.