AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Richard Kazmaier, an associate professor of biology at West Texas A&M University and a Canyon resident, has pled not guilty for numerous counts of violating the endangered species act Thursday.

According to court documents, Kazmaier waived his right to appear at his upcoming arraignment, originally scheduled for Friday. This decision by Kazmaier and his counsel to waive an arraignment automatically puts a ‘not guilty’ plea into the system.

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Kazmaier was indicted on three total counts earlier this year related to importing various wildlife items between March 2017 and Feb. 2020. He allegedly imported various animal skulls, skeletons and taxidermy mounts, according to documents. 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.

As part of the waiver, Benjamin Doyle, Kazmaier’s undersigned counsel, presented Kazmaier with the indictment and discussed, and made sure he understood, all the charges and counts listed in the indictment. The counts include one count of smuggling goods into the United States and two counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.

Through this waiver, documents state that Kazmaier “waives the right to be present at (the) arraignment and… enters a plea of ‘not guilty’ to all charges and counts in the indictment.”

According to previous reports, Kazmaier was released on a personal recognizance bond, with officials limiting his travel to the state of Texas, as well as requiring him to surrender his passport and not possess a firearm, destructive device or other weapons.