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Father, son accused of poisoning wild animals

9:02 AM, Feb. 13, 2014  |  Comments
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TOWN OF SUGAR CAMP, Wis. (AP) - A father and son from Oneida County are facing rare federal charges of poisoning more than 70 wild animals, including two bald eagles.

Prosecutors say Alvin Sowinski used bait piles with a highly toxic insecticide to try to kill predators, such as coyotes or wolves. The Sowinski family, of the Town of Sugar Camp, operates a large potato farm. Federal officials say Sowinski's son, Paul, was aware his father was setting up the poisoned bait sites.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the Sowinskis have agreed to pay $100,000 in restitution. They could also be fined up to $100,000 each and be sent to prison for a year when they're sentenced in May.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said prosecuting such poisoning cases is "extremely rare." He says his office has prosecuted one or two cases in the last 30 years.

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