Illegal Eagle Sends Texas Man To Prison

VICTORIA (December 19, 2012)—Sam Matthew, 53 of Missouri City, faces as much as six months in prison for illegal possession of a bald eagle he allegedly wanted to train for hunting.

Federal prosecutors in Victoria say Mathew remains free on bond pending sentencing in February after a jury convicted him on Monday of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Prosecutors say Mathew, who was indicted in May, intended to catch a juvenile bald eagle and train it in falconry.

Evidence indicated there was an active bald eagle nest on Mathew's property and he had already researched how to capture the bird.

Mathew testified the eagle was out of its nest and on a tree limb and he was trying to help the animal.