Maui News

Maui Pilot Gets Probation For Illegal Transport of Deer

September 13, 2012, 5:23 PM HST
* Updated September 13, 5:31 PM
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Deer at Makawao, file photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.

By Big Island Now Staff

The helicopter pilot who pleaded guilty to illegally transporting axis deer from Maui to the Big Island was sentenced today to one year of probation.

Thomas Leroy Hauptman, 63, of Maui was also ordered by US Magistrate Kevin S.C. Chang to provide 500 hours of helicopter service to organizations and government agencies battling the spread of invasive species on the Big Island, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Hauptman had offered to provide the flight services as part of his punishment when he entered his plea last month in federal court.

In 2009 the veteran pilot transported three deer to the Big Island and 14 cross-bred mouflon sheep to Maui. The sheep were for his friend and neighbor, Jeffrey Grundhauser, the newspaper said.

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Grundhauser, 53, faces sentencing next month for allowing hunting on his Arrow One Ranch without a permit.

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The state this year instituted a program on the Big Island using sharpshooters in an attempt to eradicate the axis deer. The sharpshooters were trained by hunters on Molokai.

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