JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
AND U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
October 28, 2002
Gainesville, Florida – A federal grand
jury in Gainesville returned a sixteen count indictment charging Milan
Hrabovsky, also known as Milan Harris, with the unlawful importation
of endangered wildlife into the United States. Hrabovsky, a resident
of Gainesville, owned and operated “Rain Forest Crafts”
and “Tribal Arts,” which were businesses that specialized
in selling Amazonian tribal artifacts from Brazil to customers in the
United States and elsewhere.
The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), makes it unlawful to engage in the trade of any specimens, or to possess any specimens traded contrary to the provisions of the Convention. The United States is a member of the Convention and as such works in cooperation with other member countries to regulate and monitor populations which are being commercially exploited. CITES is a treaty among party nations dedicated to protecting fish, wildlife and plants from commercial exploitation and illegal global trade. The United States administers CITES through the Endangered Species Act which is enforced by the Office of Law Enforcement of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Lacy Act makes it unlawful to sell any wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law, treaty or regulation of the United States.
"We take our responsibility to protect United States wildlife
seriously," said U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Miller. "It is equally
important that we honor the laws of other countries to help them protect
their unique and treasured wildlife resources. The only way to do that
is stop illegal commercial exploitation."
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286