Man to change deer-smuggling plea in Gulfport same day as son, grandson

rfitzgerald@sunherald.comJune 25, 2014 

GULFPORT -- A Pearl River, La., businessman has decided to change his plea in a deer-smuggling case in a hearing the same day as his son, grandson and a family-affiliated company.

Ronald Reine, 67, had been set to accept a plea agreement Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. Court records show the hearing will now take place July 7, when plea hearings are set for his family members and Omni Pinnacle LLC.

Reine is chief executive officer of Omni, a disaster-recovery business accused of conspiring with the others to smuggle white-tailed deer into Mississippi in violation of state and federal laws.

Also indicted were his son Brian Reine, 44, an Omni consultant and assistant project manager, and grandson Bruce Swilley Jr., 27.

A 13-count indictment alleges they imported white-tailed deer from four other states to wildlife enclosures managed by Ronald Reine in Pearl River County and Brian Reine in Lamar County.

The business allegedly held deer hunts at Hunter's Bluff and Half Moon Ranch for business-development and public-relations events.

Importing white-tailed deer into Mississippi violates laws that protect the state's deer population from bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease.

The men are free on bond but their travel is restricted.

Brian Reine had wanted permission to travel with his family to attend World Cup matches in Brazil this month. He had paid $16,800 for game tickets and $66,125 for a hotel and travel package. Court papers show his request was denied.

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