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Auteur Topic: Illegale handel/strafvervolging Terrapene  (gelezen 2449 keer)
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« Gepost op: 5 December 2009, 13:49:18 »

The Livingston County District Attorney's Office is being commended by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for bringing three men to justice for their role in the widespread illegal sale of reptiles.
An undercover operation called "Operation Shellshock" concluded in March 2009, and included numerous arrests throughout the state.
"The Operation Shellshock cases successfully prosecuted by Tom Moran's office were some of the most significant cases we made," said Lieutenant Richard Thomas of the DEC Police. "These three prosecutions will set a very strong precedent that New York State should not be an open marked in protected wildlife."
For two years, Lt. Thomas posed as a wildlife photographer to the hundreds of people he met while attending reptile and amphibian shows in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.In total, his activities have resulted in the arrest of 18 people.
Captain Michael VanDurme, also of DEC Region 8 and Investigator Daniel Sullivan of Region 9 went undercover to build evidence to support the existence of black market trading of rare, protected and endangered turtles, venomous and non-venomous snakes, frogs, salamanders and lizards. The investigators also worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service, the New York State Attorney General’s office, Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as well officials from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida.
Thomas and Sullivan deeply embedded themselves into the reptile culture through online communication with violators, attending in and out of state  shows and arranging meetings in the field with illegal individual collectors and sellers. They enlisted the assistance of DEC Herpetologist Alvin R. Breisch, who taught the investigators the natural history of New York’s native reptiles and the issues threatening their existence today, which is why their protection is fiercely enforced.
Dealers believed Thomas to be a photographer of high end reptile and amphibians, which opened the door to invitations and opportunities to photograph other individuals’  collections. One  violator invited Thomas to photograph his personal collection of protected native New York turtles and venomous snakes.
==========================================================================================================
The following three cases were wrapped up recently in Livingston County:
On Nov. 5, 2008, Sean Kirk sold three eastern box turtles for $550 to Lt. Thomas, who replied to an ad on the website kingsnake.com. Kirk also offered to sell Thomas two adult male box turtles for $250 and a female turtle for $150. The transaction was completed when Kirk mailed the turtles to Thomas in Geneseo. In April, Kirk pled guilty to Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife, and was sentenced to one year conditional discharge and a fine of $5,000.

==========================================================================================================
Investigator  Sullivan charged the company Seltrut Inc., doing business as turtlesale.com, for selling two juvenile wood turtles, two adult wood turtles, one juvenile spotted turtles and two hatchling blanding turtles — for a total of $1,800. The animals were shipped to the UPS Store in Geneseo, leading to a July conviction for Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife with a one year conditional discharge, a$5,000 fine and $1,800 restitution.
In October 2008, Investigator Sullivan charged reptile dealer Albert Roach with two counts of felony Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans and Wildlife. Roach offered to sell a protected species of native spotted turtles for more than $1,500.  Roach sold spotted turtles to Sullivan for $2,130 and $1,050 and later agreed to sell him 30 animals for $2,130. On Nov. 4, 2008, Sullivan received the 30 animals at an undercover Geneseo address. In February, Roach agreed to sell Sullivan 14 spotted turtles for $1,050 — and also shipped the animals to Geneseo.
Roach pled guilty to Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife and was sentenced to a year conditional discharge, a $5,000 fine and restitution of $3,180.
"The impact of these prosecutions will be far-ranging in the black market trade, as all three defendants are well known within the reptile and amphibian culture," said Lt. Thomas. "The native animals involved are considered indicator species and are extremely sensitive to environmental change and thus help us monitor the planet's health," he said. "We appreciate D.A. Moran's willingness and dedication to help us protect biodiversity and thus puibic safety."
Assistant District Attorneys Victor Rowcliffe and Joshua Tonra handled these cases in Village of Geneseo Court. The DEC kept the turtles alive as evidence, and have since been released back into the wild, or provided homes in zoos and schools.
Sally Santora
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« Antwoord #1 Gepost op: 10 Januari 2010, 10:31:03 »

Goed om te lezen dat hier wat aan gedaan wordt. De prijzen voor deze schildpadden zijn ook niet mis en daardoor ook zeer aantrekkelijk voor "handelaren" om hun salaris een fractie te verhogen.

The impact of these prosecutions will be far-ranging in the black market trade
Dat klinkt positief, maar op de één of andere manier kan ik me niet voorstellen dat 3 fanatiekelingen stevig beboeten een grote impact heeft op de zwarte markt. Zeker als je ziet wat de boetes zijn, die ze al bij elkaar hadden verdiend door hun eigen handeltje.
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