Office of Law Enforcement
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Welcome to the Pacific Region's website for the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE). We want you to see who we are, what we are all about and how we are helping to protect our nation's flora and fauna for future generations.

What's Happening Now

Newell's Shearwater


March 18, 2011

Pacific Region's Special Agent Honored as USFWS Recovery Champion

Strategically exercising his enforcement authority, Special Agent Keith Swindle has brought legal action to bear on chronic violations of the Endangered Species Act in Hawaii, particularly on behalf of the threatened Newell's shearwater. Collaborating with stakeholders, he brought about the first significant reductions in the major cause of the decline of the shearwater and other night-flying birds - their attraction to artificial lights and related collisions with power lines in the urbanized areas of Kauai. Agent Swindle's approach has also generated partnerships with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife, Hawaii Department of Transportation, County of Kauai, Hawaii State House Representative Mina Morita, and private businesses such as Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

News Release

The threatened Newell's shearwater is one of the species benefitting from Agent Swindle's enforcement efforts. USFWS photo by Brenda Zaun

Picture of a Tarantula


December 3, 2010

Tarantula Smuggler Arrested

A German national, Sven Koppler was arrested late last week and charged with illegally shipping $300,000 worth of tarantulas into the U.S. In March, a routine inspection of shipments revealed a package with approximately 300 live tarantulas, arousing suspicion and spurring the investigation that resulted in Koppler's arrest. The criminal complaint stated that Koppler has sold tarantulas to individuals in dozens of countries throughout the world. If found guilty of illegally importing wildlife, Koppler faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

FWS News Release
DOJ News Release


Picture of a tarantula.Photo credit: USFWS Photo

Fruit Bat Poster
Click Here to Enlarge:

November 29, 2010

Mariana Fruit Bats are Being Illegally Hunted

The Mariana fruit bat, or fanihi, is threatened with extinction throughout its range in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas [CNMI], and is protected by the ESA. Currently, about 100 individuals remain on Guam, and a fluctuating population of about 1,000 on Rota. On Saipan and Tinian, few individuals are known to inhabit or visit; while in the northern CNMI (all islands north of Farallon de Medinilla) fewer than 5,000 individuals remain. Populations in recent years have declined drastically due to poaching, despite federal and local laws. The fruit bat was traditionally hunted as a food source in the Marianas Islands but changes in consumption and harvest patterns have removed them from the legal menu. Now poaching is the main threat to the fruit bat. Habitat loss and introduced predators such as brown tree-snakes, rats and feral cats, also pose additional risks. The fruit bat is a linchpin species for fragile Pacific island ecosystems, as it is responsible for nearly all the pollination of native forest species.

For more information on law enforcement efforts concerning the Mariana fruit bat, please click on the press releases below.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Three for Poaching Threatened Mariana Fruit Bats - September 2010
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Investigates Killing of Protected Mariana Fruit Bats - December 2008

More Information on Mariana Fruit Bats/Fanihi

Mug Shot of Isaac Zimerman









August 5, 2010

Service Seeks Fugitive Fish Smuggler

The Service is offering a reward for any information that leads to the arrest of an indicted California fish dealer who failed to appear in court to face 13 Federal felony charges related to illegal fish trafficking -- trafficking that included the unlawful importation and sale of piranhas and freshwater stingrays as well as the smuggling of globally protected fish. Piranhas and stingrays are banned in California and most southern States as invasive species that would pose a threat to humans and other species if they were released in U.S. waters.

News Release


Isaac Zimerman, a California fish dealer is a fugitive after failing to appear in federal court to face multiple felony charges related to illegal fish trafficking. Photo credit: USFWS


For additional details about our law enforcement program, please click on the links in the left side bar. To contact us, please click on Contact us. If you want to know law enforcement's objectives and priorities, click on the About us link.

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Last updated: December 3, 2013

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