HOUSTON -

A Missouri City man has been ordered to pay the maximum fine allowed by law for illegally possessing a bald eagle, according to court records.

Sam Mathew, 53, was indicted in May 2012 for one count of violating The Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

He was later convicted by a Victoria federal jury in on Dec. 18, 2012, following two days of trial and about an hour of deliberations.

According to federal prosecutors, evidence and testimony was presented in the trial that showed Mathew intended to catch a juvenile bald eagle for the purpose of training it in falconry. Evidence indicated there was an active bald eagle nest located on Mathew’s property and he had already researched how to capture it, prosecutors said.

Mathew was order to pay a $15,000 fine.