United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Kaenon A. Constantin, 28, was sentenced on July 30, 2020, to five years of probation for killing and transporting a federally protected and endangered whooping crane.
During his period of probation, Constantin must complete 360 hours of community service related to wildlife conservation. As part of the sentence, Constantin’s hunting privileges have been suspended until he completes the community service. United States Magistrate Judge Hanna also ordered Constantin to pay a $10,000 fine and to pay $75,000 in civil restitution to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
In November of 2019, Constantin was named in a federal bill of information for violating the Lacey Act in May of 2016. Specifically, on May 20, 2016, Constantin and a juvenile used .22 caliber rifles to shoot at a pair of whooping cranes located in a field within Acadia Parish. One of the cranes fell dead in the field, and Constantin and his accomplice retrieved its carcass. The other crane flew too far north into another field and couldn’t be retrieved, but investigators later recovered its carcass.
Constantin and the juvenile found a transponder on the crane’s leg used by LDWF in tracking the crane. Constantin and the juvenile then cut the transponder off of the crane and transported the crane, knife, severed legs and transponders to a nearby road where they discarded the evidence.
When initially approached by investigators shortly after the crime, Constantin lied about his involvement, causing the investigation to continue for nearly two more years before he finally confessed in April of 2018. LDWF agents cited Constantin on April 2, 2018.
The Lacey Act is a comprehensive federal law that protects against wildlife crimes, such as international and domestic wildlife trafficking. The Act prohibits, among other actions, a person