Adam Boguski, 43, of Stamford, pleaded guilty on Monday in Hartford federal court to one count of conspiracy to take, capture and kill red-tailed hawks and Cooper’s hawks, and two counts of taking, capturing and killing Cooper’s hawks.
According to court documents and statements made in court, red-tailed hawks and Cooper’s hawks are birds of prey, also known as raptors, and consume pigeons as part of their natural diet.
These hawks are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
In pleading guilty, Boguski admitted that he and Thomas Kapusta were racing pigeon enthusiasts who constructed and maintained a pigeon coop at 330 Weed Avenue in Stamford.
The duo kept a large number of racing pigeons at this coop, and regularly let them fly outside the coop for exercise.
Because Boguski and Kapusta viewed these hawks as a threat to their pigeons, they systematically captured the hawks in a trap specifically designed to capture birds of prey, shot and killed them in the trap, and disposed of their carcasses.
Boguski admitted that he killed Cooper’s hawks on September 27, 2015 and October 17, 2015.
The guilty plea was announced on Monday by Deirdre Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Honora Gordon, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.
Boguski is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on October 11, 2016. He faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 18 months and a fine of up to $45,000.
On February 17, 2016, Kapusta, of Westbury, NY, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to take, capture and kill red-tailed hawks and Cooper’s hawks, and four counts of taking, capturing and killing red-tailed hawks or Cooper’s hawks. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12.
This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and the Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, and the Environmental Conservation Police of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, with the assistance of the Stamford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.