Robert Soto attended and participated in a powwow, a Native American religious ceremony, during which participants wore eagle feathers as a part of their garb. Upon questioning by an agent of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) who also attended the powwow, Soto represented that he was a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe, which the agent determined was not a federally recognized tribe. During a subsequent meeting with the FWS agent, Soto signed a voluntary abandonment and abandoned all of the feathers in his possession.

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