FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vicki M. Boatwright February 7, 1997 Diana M. Hawkins FLORIDIAN CONVICTED FOR SMUGGLING PERUVIAN BOA CONSTRICTORS
A Florida resident, arrested last year by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents in Miami, has been convicted on various counts in violation of the Endangered Species Act in connection with the smuggling of more than 100 Peruvian red tail boa constrictors from Peru into Miami International Airport. Tim Eaton of Tequesta, Florida, owner of a company named Peruvian Imports Unlimited, was sentenced January 30, 1997, to serve two years in prison and pay a $25,000 fine in U.S. District Court.
The Peruvian red tail boa constrictor is a reptile highly valued within the United States pet trade because of its distinctive red coloring and because of its relative rarity due to Peru's prohibition against the snake's export. The species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and cannot be imported into the United States without a valid CITES permit from the exporting country. Court testimony indicated that healthy specimens can commancd a price of up to $400 on the United States retail market.
X X X
1997 News Releases