The U.S. attorney for South Dakota, Randy Seiler, has received federal criminal indictments for 15 people, including at least 12 persons with South Dakota addresses, in an alleged trafficking scheme involving sales of eagles and other migratory birds called Project Dakota Flyer.
The initial appearances in U.S. district courts are scheduled for May 1 in Rapid City and May 4 in Pierre, according to Seiler. The undercover operation spanned two years.
The 12 South Dakotans who face federal charges are:
Troy Fairbanks, 54, of Rapid City;
Majestic Fairbanks, 22, of Rapid City;
Troy Young Fairbanks, 24, of Rapid City;
Michael Primeaux, 32, of Parmelee;
Juan Mesteth, 39, of Pine Ridge;
Aaron David West, 64, of Eagle Butte;
Aaron David West Jr., 33, of Eagle Butte;
Valencia Neck, 38, of Parmalee;
Benjamin Iron Hawk, 44, of Kyle;
Chet Christensen, 66 of Tuthill;
Ronald Fisher, 64, of Kyle; and
David Jasper, 60, of Box Elder.
Also indicted were Alvin Brown Jr., 37, of Ethete, WY; Jorge Pena, 44, of Mt. Vernon, IA; and Gary Fisher, 69, of Gordon, NE.