Texas man guilty in trafficking $3.5M in wildlife with focus on rare turtles - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 07-11-2020, 11:18 AM   #1
Texas man guilty in trafficking $3.5M in wildlife with focus on rare turtles

From article:

TORONTO -- A Texas man has pleaded guilty to trafficking more than US$3.5 million in wildlife -- primarily rare turtles -- from Mexico into the United States.

Alejandro Carrillo of El Paso, Texas, has pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to traffic wildlife into the United States and one count of smuggling wildlife into the United States.

Carrillo transported live animals, including thousands of live reptiles, amphibians, and birds, from Mexico to the U.S. as part of an illegal trafficking operation. Many of the animals are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Carrillo admitted to being paid $92,000 to transport the animals across the border and then arranging for them to be delivered to customers in the U.S.

“This investigation has exposed a highly co-ordinated wildlife trafficking ring responsible for the smuggling of wild caught reptiles destined to collectors and the commercial trade across the U.S. and globe,” Edward Grace, assistant director for Law Enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a news release.

“The number of animals suspected of being smuggled is in the tens of thousands. Reptiles, amphibians and other protected wildlife already face enough environmental stressors worldwide.”

The arrest was made possible through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service Office under “Operation Bale Out,” which began in 2016 to investigate a network of individuals involved in trafficking wildlife across the border.

A bale is the term for a group of turtles. The network was primarily trafficking rare turtles.

“This is a continuing investigation and reflects the seriousness with which we regard these activities and our commitment to hold accountable those who break the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark.

Carrillo is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept, 16.

Old 07-13-2020, 12:03 AM   #2
Good, I'm glad people like this are getting caught! Hopefully more people who does trafficking of animals get caught, this has to stop!

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