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Friday, August 1, 2014

Texans indicted for shooting deer illegally in Comanche County

The Wichita Eagle

Two Texas men were indicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Wichita on charges of breaking federal game laws with deer shot in Kansas.

U.S. attorney Barry Grissom announced Justin Klein, 29, of Center, Texas, faces three counts of violating the Lacey Act, a law that prohibits wildlife killed illegally from being taken across state lines.

Johnny Risinger, 43, of Mount Enterprise, Texas, faces one count of violating the Lacey Act.

They could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and fines up to $20,000 for each count.

The two men are the first of about 60 people who could face charges for breaking state and federal hunting laws while at Camp Lone Star in Comanche County.

Last month, Camp Lone Star owner James Butler Jr. and guide Marlin Butler were sentenced for their part in running illegal operations at the camp.

James Butler was sentenced to 41 months in jail and fined $50,000 for conspiracy and illegally trafficking game across state lines.

Marlin Butler was sentenced to 27 months in jail and ordered to pay $20,000. Both men are appealing their sentences.

Federal and state authorities worked several years on the case. Investigations found that Camp Lone Star clients had been illegally shooting deer after dark with the aid of lights and night-vision equipment; shooting them with rifles during the archery season; and placing illegal permits on the deer.

Last month, John Brooks, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, called the case “by far the most egregious thing I’ve encountered or heard of.”

More than 100 mounted deer or antlers have been confiscated that were shot by Camp Lone Star personnel or clients between 2005 and 2008.

Camp clients paid between $2,500 and $5,500 to hunt with the Butlers.

Deer hunting in Kansas is a multimillion-dollar industry. Many landowners lease access to their properties to hunters.

Outfitters charge from $1,500 to more than $8,000 to hunters coming to Kansas hoping for a big-antlered whitetail or mule deer buck.

Reach Michael Pearce at 316-268-6382 or

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