Northeast Region Features
Conserving the Nature of America

Ivory figurines carved from elephant tusks
Ivory figurines carved from elephant tusks
Credit: USFWS

Elephant, rhinoceros product smugglers receive prison time, fines

Smugglers dealing in the illegal trade of wildlife were recently brought to justice in two separate sentences issued by northeast federal courts.

In Brooklyn, New York, Victor Gordon of Pennsylvania was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment for smuggling $800,000 worth of elephant ivory into the United States through John F. Kennedy International Airport.  As part of the sentence, the court ordered Gordon to pay a fine of $7,500 and to forfeit $150,000, along with approximately one ton of elephant ivory that was seized from his Philadelphia store by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents.

In Newark, New Jersey, Zhifei Li,  owner of an antique business in China, was sentenced  to 70 months in prison in for leading an illegal wildlife smuggling conspiracy in which rhinoceros horns, rhino horn products and elephant ivory worth more than $4.5 million were smuggled from the United States to China. Li was arrested as part of “Operation Crash” – a nationwide effort led by the Service and the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of rhinoceros horns and other protected species.

New York news release
Newark news release

Northeast Region Law Enforcement

Published on: Thursday, June 05,2014

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