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Thu May 25, 2017, 07:58 AM

UA-Fairbanks named its bird lab after this man. Now he's guilty of bird smuggling.

A renowned bird collector whose name was adopted by the University of Alaska for its ornithology lab in Fairbanks pleaded guilty in federal court last week to smuggling bird carcasses into the United States.

Heinrich "Henry" Springer, a longtime research associate with the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks, helped smuggle the bird specimens into the country for his own collection and for a Florida friend between May 2010 and October 2014, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in U.S. District Court in Gainesville, Florida.

Springer, now 80 years old, declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday. His attorney did not respond to an email and phone message Tuesday seeking comment.

Springer is a former member of the Alaska House, representing Nome as a Democrat from 1987 to 1988. He also once served as the executive director of the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority and as chairman of the Alaska Board of Game.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2017/05/23/uaf-named-its-bird-lab-after-heinrich-springer-now-hes-guilty-of-bird-smuggling/

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