Two Louisiana men convicted of conspiracy to unlawfully transport live deer into Adams County

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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JACKSON — A pair of Louisiana men initially charged with conspiracy to unlawfully transport live deer into Mississippi were convicted in federal court. The men transported deer to a captive facility north of Natchez according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office. 

Both men were charged with conspiring to transport a live white-tailed deer from Louisiana into Mississippi in violation of state and federal laws which is a Lacey Act Violation. Brandon Scott Favre, 49, of Baton Rouge pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 8, 2023, and Jason Martin, 50, of Hackberry pled guilty to the charges on Jan. 19. 

Favre was sentenced to a 4-year term of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. The final fine was half of the maximum penalty of $10,000. Favre will have to implement a four-year Chronic Wasting Disease sampling and testing plan on an 850-acre enclosure and will have to pay $59,808.19 in restitution for the costs conducted by the MDWFP according to the United States Attorney’s Office. Under the plan, 40 white tailed deer will have to be harvested each of the four years by MDWFP. 

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Martin is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3 and faces a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. 

Stephanie Johnson with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service stated the prosecution is a great example of collaboration between federal and state agencies. 

“The MDWFP and USFWS share a vested interest in combating the spread of disease which threaten our native wildlife populations,” Johnson said. “(Diseases) are potentially spread through the interstate transport of deer in violation of state and federal laws.” 

Court documents show that from October 2020 to June 2021 that Favre and Martin entered an agreement to transport and receive a white-tailed deer from Louisiana into Mississippi. In April 2021, Martin transported the deer as agreed upon and delivered the deer to Mistletoe Properties, which according to OnX mapping, borders the Natchez-Adams County Airport. 

Mistletoe Properties has a 850 acre high fence enclosure permitted for white-tailed deer that is operated by Favre. The deer were then put into an unpermitted breeding pen located on the property. Deer were transported from Louisiana without documentation and into Mississippi which violated state and federal law. 

Transportation of captive deer across the US is believed to be one of the aggravating factors for the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. CWD is already found in nearby Tensas Parish and Warren County and it is possible it is already present in other nearby counties and parishes but at a low prevalence rate where it hasn’t been detected yet. 

MDWFP Chief of Law Enforcement Jerry Carter and the law enforcement bureau will continue to protect natural resources such as white-tailed deer. 

“The MDWFP takes interstate transport and unlawful importation of White-Tailed Deer into the state of Mississippi very seriously,” Carter said. “We will continue to work collaborative criminal investigations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Attorney’s Office to detect and prosecute those who choose to violate the laws of this state.”