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-   -   Georgia man sentenced for endangered turtle smuggling operation (https://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=745839)

nickolasanastasiou 12-03-2020 10:48 AM

Georgia man sentenced for endangered turtle smuggling operation
 
https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/geo...ling-operation

From the article -

---------

MARIETTA, Ga. - A Georgia man has been fined $10,000 by a federal judge for illegally smuggling over a hundred turtles from Asia into the states.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says that between October of 2018 and January 2019, Marietta resident Kuo Pin “Kenny” Cheng received at least 28 shipments from Hong Kong secretly containing various species of turtles.

According to officials, Cheng would receive shipments labeled "toys" or "truck" and addressed to fake names.

Inside the shipments were more than 150 live turtles. Officials say amoung those were multiple protected species and two, the Asian Spotted Pond turtle and the Three-Keeled Asian, classified as endangered.

Cheng would then sell the turtles to collectors around the country who he would talk with online - earning around $40,000 from the sales.

“Illegal trafficking in fish and wildlife is big business all over the globe,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “Laws protecting endangered species were enacted to preserve our treasures in the wild. We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect endangered wildlife.”

Cheng pleaded guilty to one county of unlawfully smuggling turtles in August of 2019. In 2020, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg sentenced Cheng to one year of probation and ordered him to pay $10,000.

marker1 12-03-2020 12:26 PM

A few are probably sitting in some agents home. How do I know well In knew an agent in FL PERSONALLY who would pocket at least one Shinisaurus crocodilurus anytime a shipment was seized. he died a while ago. Some will probably be able to put together who it was.

WebSlave 12-03-2020 12:33 PM

Seems to me that a $10K fine is merely a light slap on the wrist for people engaging in this sort of business.

nickolasanastasiou 12-03-2020 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WebSlave (Post 2238114)
Seems to me that a $10K fine is merely a light slap on the wrist for people engaging in this sort of business.

Conspicuously light compared to the sentences a number of other people have been given in cases with fewer shipments (and not involving ESA-regulated animals). Makes one wonder.

markpulawski 01-12-2021 08:30 AM

Made $40K from sales, fined $10K, doesn't really seem punitive and sends a message that a slap on the wrist may be worth the risk.

bcr229 01-12-2021 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markpulawski (Post 2242706)
Made $40K from sales, fined $10K, doesn't really seem punitive and sends a message that a slap on the wrist may be worth the risk.

It's common for criminals who receive light sentences do so as part of a plea deal to snitch on their partners in crime.


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