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Associated Press, Published May 24 2012

Halstad man says he will plead guilty to illegally capturing bald eagle

GRAND FORKS — A 23-year-old Minnesota man accused of illegally capturing a bald eagle in North Dakota says he will plead guilty.

Aaron Reiling, of Halstad, Minn., is charged in federal court with unlawful taking of a bald eagle. Authorities say he was trapping without a license and trespassing on private land near Hillsboro in December.

A game warden reportedly discovered a bald eagle with one leg caught in Reiling's spring trap, which was about a foot from where a deer carcass had been illegally placed. The eagle did not recover from its injuries and was euthanized on Jan. 14.

A plea agreement in the case calls for a sentence of probation and a $1,000 fine. A plea hearing has not been scheduled.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.