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Somers Point Man Accused of Shooting Hawks, Charged with Federal Violations

A Somers Point senior could get prison time and fines if convicted of shooting hawks in his neighborhood.

Robert Losasso, 68, faces six federal counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He appears today in the Newark courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo.

Investigators say Losasso used a .22-caliber rifle and a .17-caliber pellet gun, both with scopes, on red-tailed hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, red-shouldered hawks, and Cooper’s hawks. They’re among thousands of species of birds of prey that migrate to and from Canada yearly along the Atlantic seaboard.

According to information from New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office, neighbors reported more than 40 dead or injured birds – as well as bullet holes and pellet marks on their houses – over two and a half years.

Losasso is charged with incidents that transpired between December 2012 and April 2013 involving three red-tailed hawks, one sharp-shinned hawk, and one Cooper’s hawk, all of which are protected under the federal statute. Red-shouldered hawks are listed as an endangered species in New Jersey.

Each count carry maximum possible sentences of two months in prison and individual fines of $15,000. If convicted on all six counts, Losasso could be given a cumulative year behind bars and fines totalling $90,000.

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