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Federal charges threaten California landscaper

When you consider the type of crimes required to warrant a federal investigation, you might not realize just how easy it is to fall afoul of federal laws. A mistake when filing your taxes could lead to a tax fraud investigation. Visiting the wrong website could connect you with Internet crimes. For one landscaper in California, it was doing his job that put him at risk of federal charges, when he allegedly caused harm to some birds.

The tree trimmer from Bay Point had been hired to cut back some trees near an Oakland post office in response to some nesting birds that had been defecating on mail trucks. However, the birds were protected under the law. Purportedly, the tree trimming resulted in five of the birds, all aged between one and three weeks, suffering injuries thought to have been caused by falling from their nests.

The tree trimmer was deeply upset when he heard of the reports regarding the injured birds and he came forward to identify himself as responsible for the work. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators have chastised the actions of the man, saying that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in many instances prohibits trimming trees where birds are known to be nesting.

Despite the fact that he was simply doing his job, having been hired for the work by the U.S. Postal Service, he could now face federal charges. A conviction on the charges he could face could lead to as much as a $15,000 fine and up to six months in jail. This demonstrates all too clearly how easy it can be to run into trouble with the law. If you should find yourself in such a situation, quick action can be key. An attorney may be able to help you respond to any charges and work toward seeing them dismissed or lessened.

Source: CBS SF Bay Area, "Landscaper May Face Federal Charges For Injuring Birds Outside Oakland Post Office," May 21, 2014

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