A rural West Branch farmer has admitted to violating state and federal law by illegally killing several animals. 53-year-old George Allen Waters pled guilty in U.S. District Court to the illegal interstate transportation and sale of 38 illegally-killed trophy white-tailed deer, elk and mule deer in violation of state and federal wildlife laws. Waters admitted to “poaching” a total of 45 valued at 270-thousand dollars from locations in Iowa and Colorado beginning in 1992. He also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a fully-automatic machinegun. Waters admitted that from 1992 through the fall of 2002, he repeatedly snuck into the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant near Middletown, Iowa, and killed 24 trophy white-tailed deer, and then sold their heads and antlers. Waters also admitted to doing the same thing after poaching eight trophy elk and six mule deer in western Colorado. Waters reached a plea agreement with the government that requires him to serve five years in federal prison without parole, and pay fines and restitution of over 40-thousand dollars. He will also forfeit numerous animal trophy mounts, skulls, parts and other hunting items seized by state and federal law enforcement agents during the investigation — including nine firearms. No sentencing date has been set.
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