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South Dakota rancher pleads guilty to poisoning six protected bald eagles

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A South Dakota rancher has pleaded guilty to federal charges in the deaths of six protected bald eagles who were poisoned by some misapplied pesticide on his property.

According to prosecutors, 58-year-old David Meyer supervised the misapplication of 39,000 pounds of the pesticide Rozol on 5,400 acres of land on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Corson County.

More than a dozen workers told investigators in 2016 that they were supposed to put the poison into prairie dog holes but got sloppy and put it near the holes.

Six bald eagles died after ingesting the poison, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

An EPA emergency response team oversaw cleanup of the ranch, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Court records show that Meyer has agreed to pay $58,000 in restitution to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and pay a $50,000 fine. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend he be placed on probation. He will be sentenced on April 2.

Dean Welte

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