AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A West Texas A&M Professor who was recently federally indicted for numerous counts of violating the endangered species act is scheduled to have his arraignment in Amarillo Federal Court Friday morning.
Richard Kazmaier, an associate professor of biology at West Texas A&M University and a Canyon resident, has his arraignment scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the second-floor courtroom in the Mary Lou Robinson United States Courthouse in Amarillo.
Kazmaier was indicted on three total counts earlier this year related to importing various wildlife items between March 2017 and Feb. 2020, according to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com. Kazmaier allegedly imported various animal skulls, skeletons and taxidermy mounts. This comes after an investigation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement in Redmond, Washington. If Kazmaier is convicted, he faces a maximum of 21 years in federal prison and a $350,000 fine.
According to court documents, Kazmaier initially appeared in Amarillo Federal Court on Feb. 7. During the initial appearance, Kazmaier received the indictment, was advised of his various rights, including his right to retain counsel. Kazmaier was also released on a personal recognizance bond, with officials limiting his travel to the state of Texas, requiring him to surrender his passport and not possess a firearm, destructive device or other weapons.
In Friday’s arraignment, documents state that Kazmaier has the ability to waive the right to be present at the arraignment. If Kazmaier signs the “Waiver of Appearance at Arraignment” a not guilty plea is entered and Kazmaier is not required to appear at the arraignment.
This story is developing. Check with MyHighPlains.com for updates