Roger Kahn, Birdslayer

Up until two weeks ago, Roger F. Kahn was known as the guy who lost to Bob Barr in the race for a U.S. House seat in 2000. Nowadays, Kahn is referred to as the guy who killed all those hundreds of birds.

It started two years ago, when Kahn's neighbors in White, Ga., reported that flocks of birds were "falling from the sky." According to the U.S. attorney's office, Kahn and his ranch manager, Glen M. "Mike" Bramlett, laced a bunch of corn with Warbex, a listed hazardous waste that's used for killing lice on cows. U.S. District Attorney David Nahmias says that Kahn poisoned the corn to rid his cattle ranch in Bartow County of "nuisance birds."

Bird carcasses were found spread over 1,100 acres. Among the 3,326 carcasses were a great horned owl, red-tailed hawks, Canada geese, mallard ducks, a cardinal, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds and a brown thrasher, which is Georgia's official state bird. Most of the species killed are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or the Endangered Species Act.

Kahn pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to violating those federal acts, and a U.S. District Court judge in Rome will sentence Kahn in about a month. Kahn's attorney, Bruce Morris, wouldn't comment on the case except to say, "We expect the court to accept [the guilty plea]. If it's not accepted, we'd have the right to withdraw it."

If his guilty plea is accepted, Kahn will have to pay $282,284 in fines and cleanup costs. That's a drop in the bucket compared to what Kahn, who once owned the biggest wine and liquor distributing company in the state, spent out-of-pocket on his failed bid for Congress. He dropped about $3 million of his own money on the campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Kahn also will likely be sentenced to 160 hours of community service and 60 days of home confinement.

The Blotter
COVID Updates
Latest News
Current Issue