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Kimball man guilty of officer assault

A Kimball man pleaded guilty Tuesday to assaulting, resisting and impeding a federal officer.

James Steckley, 44, of Kimball, appeared before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier to enter his plea.

The assault charge stems from an incident in September when Steckley interfered with a special agent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service while the agent was investigating Lacey Act violations. The investigation revealed that between Nov. 27, 2011, and Dec. 5, 2011, in Brule County, Steckley, then part owner of Steckley’s Wild Dakota Outfitters, a commercial hunting operation, hosted paying clients to hunt deer without appropriate licenses.

The maximum penalty for the charge is one year in prison, a $100,000 fine or both, one year of supervised release, an additional year of supervised release upon revocation, and a $50 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.

Steckley was released on bond pending sentencing, which has been set for January.

Source: Office of U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson