News Release

March 15, 2012

Coral Distributor Sentenced in United States District Court

Media Contacts:
Pam Beard, U.S. Attorney's Office, ( 208) 334-1584

BOISE - Christopher Kay Conk, 39, of Middleton, Idaho, was sentenced today to two years of probation for violating federal laws related to the protection of marine wildlife. On December 8, 2011, Conk pled guilty to a smuggling goods from the United States, trafficking in wildlife, a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act, and violation of the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb of the Eastern District of California also ordered Conk to perform 100 hours of community service.

According to the plea agreement, Conk owned and operated Coral Fanatics, LLC, a web-based retailer that was located in Middleton, Idaho. Conk shipped coral internationally and misrepresented the coral in shipping documents. Conk did not have a license to engage in the business as a commercial exporter of wildlife. Conk shipped coral that was protected by international treaties.

In a related case, U.S. Attorney Olson announced that Deidra M. Davison, 31, of Star, Idaho, was sentenced today for violations of the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act. Judge Shubb ordered Davison to serve two years of probation and perform 80 hours of community service. She pled guilty to the charges on December 19, 2011.

The case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service - Office of Law Enforcement, the United States Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.