Christopher Hayes, the President and owner of Florida auction house Elite Estate Buyers Inc., has been sentenced to three years in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his role in an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy that bought, sold and smuggled rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn, elephant ivory and imperiled coral from the United States to China. Elite was fined $1.5 million and banned from trading wildlife for five years. The prosecution of Elite and Hayes is part of Operation Crash, an ongoing nationwide criminal investigation led by the Service that is fighting any U.S. involvement in the black market rhino horn trade.
News Release (DOJ) »
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