The FBI has for years offered reward money to persons providing information that lead to the capture of criminals.  The minimum reward for info leading to the arrest of a criminal on the bureau's "Ten Most Wanted" list is $100,000.  The highest reward ever offered by the FBI was $2 million for information leading to gangster James "Whitey" Bulger's arrest.

Other law enforcement agencies also offer rewards, mostly through the confidential Crime Stoppers program.  But there are other non-profit agencies that offer rewards. Lane Thibodeaux of Gueydan, Louisiana, learned that lesson the hard way.

Thibodeaux will soon be serving a 45-day jail sentence and paying a $2500 fine after pleading guilty to five counts related to shooting and injuring a whooping crane, which eventually had to be euthanized.  Thibodeaux probably thought he was home free because the incident happened three years ago.  But the lure of reward money spurred confidential informants to come forward and tell authorities about the crime.

But that's not the only reason that ol' Lane will be doing time.  The doofus had photos and videos of himself shooting migratory game birds from the passenger seat of a moving pickup on a public road, which is also illegal. To add to his legal problems the birds were shot out of season, AND he didn't have a Louisiana hunting license.

But wait, there's more.  Thibodeaux also faces charges because he allegedly threatened the people who reported him, and he faces narcotics charges due to information also discovered on his phone.  A brain surgeon this guy is not.

Which brings us back to rewards.  If you'll pardon the pun, the informants made out like bandits.  According to the New Orleans' Times-Picayune, they will each receive a reward of $1,000 from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Operation Game department and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  They'll also split $5,000 from The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, along with $3,000 from anonymous donors.

Hey, Lane Thibodeaux sure ain't Whitey Bulger, but I bet he'll think twice the next time he thinks about shooting some protected wildlife from his pickup.  And while he's in jail he certainly won't be whooping it up. (Sorry)





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