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Rapid City man sentenced for trafficking more than 100 illegal eagles

Troy Fairbanks sentenced in federal court
Troy Fairbanks sentenced in federal court(KOTA)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 7:48 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It started as a two-year undercover operation into the illegal trafficking of eagle feathers and eagle parts.

Operation Dakota Flyer was first announced publicly in 2017 and today another defendant in the case is sentenced in federal court.

Troy Fairbanks from Rapid City pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking back in December.

On Tuesday Judge Jeffrey Viken sentenced Fairbanks to five years probation and ordered him to pay restitution of $15,816.

According to the factual basis statement Fairbanks signed he admitted to selling or bartering parts of bald eagles and golden eagles.

In one instance, he sold an eagle head eagle wings, and 223 loose feathers to a confidential informant.

That statement says over two years at least 112 different eagles or their parts passed through Fairbanks' home.

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