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From: TSS (216-119-143-218.ipset23.wt.net)
Subject: MORE LIVE CATTLE FROM CANADA SMUGGLED ACROSS USA SEALED BORDERS
Date: August 6, 2004 at 2:49 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: MORE LIVE CATTLE FROM CANADA SMUGGLED ACROSS USA SEALED BORDERS
Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2004 16:48:43 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy


Department of Justice

United States Attorney
District of Montana
------------------------------------------------------------------------

WILLIAM W. MERCER
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

P.O. Box 1478
Billings, Montana 59103

(406) 657-6101


NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2004

CONTACT:

William W. Mercer
United States Attorney for the
District of Montana
(406) 247-4639

GREGORY HOWARD KESLER PLEADS GUILTY IN U.S. FEDERAL COURT


Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana,
announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July
27, 2004, before Chief U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, GREGORY
HOWARD KESLER, a 59-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to charges
of smuggling. Sentencing is set for November 5, 2004, at 9:45 a.m.
KESLER is currently released.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government
stated it would prove at trial that KESLER is the owner and operator of
companies that contract with rodeos throughout the United States and
Canada to provide bucking bulls and bucking horses for their events.
KESLER has ranches in both the United States and Canada and holds
citizenship in both countries. Throughout the course of a typical rodeo
season he frequently transports bulls and horses back and forth across
the international border, depending on the location of the rodeos that
he must serve. KESLER's animals are keenly sought at rodeos in both
countries, and because a cowboy's score on a particular ride can depend
heavily on exactly which bull he or she is riding, the individual
animals are closely tracked by associations of rodeos and cowboys. Those
organizations track each animal and its performance at each rodeo and
document that information for the benefit of competitors.

On May 20, 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture,
reacting to reports of a confirmed case of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease"), closed the border to imports
from Canada of any live ruminants and a variety of ruminant products.
The ban was effective immediately, and included KESLER's rodeo bulls.
The ban remains in effect.

By the spring of 2004, the rodeo world was rife with rumors
KESLER had violated the ban by bringing some of his bulls over the
border from Canada to participate in rodeos in the United States.
Officials of the Idaho Department of Livestock notified officials of the
Montana Department of Livestock (KESLER's U.S. ranch is near Helena),
and they investigated. Based on information from the rodeo associations
showing that KESLER bulls had participated in rodeos in Canada after the
ban, and later in rodeos in the United States, the investigators
believed there was some truth to the information.

They contacted KESLER by telephone and confronted him with the
allegations. He denied them and the conversation was terminated. A short
time later, though, KESLER called back and said he wanted to talk. The
inspectors agreed, and contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security. Agents from both agencies met with KESLER and he confessed
that he smuggled approximately 23 of his bulls from Canada into the
United States in June 2003 by including them in a large load of horses
coming over the border legally. When he stopped at the inspection
station at the Port of Del Bonita - where he was well known by the
inspectors - KESLER asserted the entire load was horses and neglected to
mention the bulls. A check of border crossing records confirmed that
KESLER had crossed with a load of horses on June 23, 2003.

KESLER allowed inspectors onto his ranch near Helena where they
inspected brands and quarantined the animals that had been smuggled
over. Later, when there were suggestions that more of the animals at the
Helena ranch were present at rodeos in Canada after the ban went into
effect, KESLER confessed to having smuggled an additional six bulls from
Canada in January 2004. A check of border crossing records showed that
KESLER had crossed on January 8, 2004.

He faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine
and 3 years supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Van de Wetering prosecuted the case
for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Montana Department of Livestock.

# # # # #

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Beth
Binstock at (406) 247-4653.


http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/mt/PressReleases/200407271528.htm

WONDER what else has been smuggled through those USA sealed borders
with triple firewalls?

TSS





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