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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
TORRANCE LE: California Man Sentenced to 2,500 Hours Community Service, Fined $2,000 for Concealing and Possessing Federally-Protected Island Banded Iguanas
Region 8, July 14, 2008
Fiji Islands banded iguana at the St. Louis Zoo. (Photo: Tim Vickers)
Fiji Islands banded iguana at the St. Louis Zoo. (Photo: Tim Vickers) - Photo Credit: n/a

Scott Flaherty, External Affairs
A federal court in Los Angeles Monday (July 14), ordered Jeremy James of Long Beach, Calif., to perform 2,500 hours of community service, pay a $2,000 fine and $150 special assessment and serve five years probation for concealing and possessing Fiji Island banded iguanas into the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today

James, 34, was convicted in April of concealing and one count of possessing the endangered animals. The Fiji Island banded iguana (Brachylophus fasciatus) is threatened with extinction and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (CITES) a treaty through which the United States and more than 150 other countries protect certain species of fish, wildlife, and plants against over exploitation by regulating trade in the species.

While on a trip to Fiji in September 2002, James allegedly abducted three hatchling Fiji Island banded iguanas from an ecological preserve, then allegedly brought them to the United States. After receiving a tip that James possessed several specimens of the endangered species, special agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service opened an undercover investigation. During the investigation, James told an undercover operative that he sold a trio of Fiji Island banded iguanas four years ago for $32,000. After a series of meetings with the defendant, Service special agents executed a search warrant at James’ house in July and recovered four Fiji Island banded iguanas.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/ . For information about federal wildlife laws, visit www.fws.gov/le .

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov