Miller man pleads not guilty to killing whooping crane, witness tampering
SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A South Dakota man has pleaded not guilty to killing an endangered whooping crane and then persuading a witness to withhold information from law officers.
Twenty-five-year-old Jeff Blachford, of Miller, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and witness tampering. U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson says Blachford could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Blachford is accused of shooting the crane and a hawk in Hand County in April.