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Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking at the Department of Justice
Group of narwhals in the wild. Photo credit: NOAA
United States v. Andrew Zarauskas (D. Maine): In January 2015, Zarauskas was sentenced to 33 months in prison for unlawful trafficking of narwhal tusks and teeth and was ordered to forfeit $85,089, six narwhal tusks and one narwhal skull and to pay a $7,500 fine. Narwhals are listed as “threatened” under the ESA and are covered by CITES. It is illegal to import parts of the narwhal into the United States without a permit and without declaring the parts at the time of importation to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FWS. On February 14, 2014, a federal jury in Bangor, Maine, convicted Andrew Zarauskas on six counts, including conspiracy, smuggling violations for buying and illegally importing narwhal tusks into the United States, and money laundering violations associated with the illegal importations. The market value of the teeth and tusks illegally imported by Zarauskas was between $120,000 and $200,000. According to the evidence presented at trial, Zarauskas purchased approximately 33 narwhal tusks over nearly six years from two Canadian co-defendants. The Canadian co-defendants purchased the narwhal tusks in Canada and brought them into the United States illegally. Once in the United States, a Canadian co-defendant shipped the narwhal tusks to Zarauskas from Bangor, Maine. Zarauskas knew that the co-defendants had smuggled the narwhal tusks into the United States. The case was investigated NOAA, FWS, and Environment Canada.



Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Falsifying a Wildlife Document Related to the Sale of Horns from a Black Rhino - March 26, 2015

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden Delivers Remarks at the Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade - March 25, 2015

Canadian Antiques Dealer Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Smuggling Rhinoceros Horns, Elephant Ivory and Coral - March 25, 2015

Presidential Task Force Releases Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking - February 11, 2015

Auction House and Company’s President Plead Guilty to Wildlife Smuggling Conspiracy - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Trafficking in Illegally-Imported Narwhal Tusks and Money Laundering - Monday, January 12, 2015

Two Florida Reptile Dealers Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring and Trafficking in Protected Reptiles - Monday, December 8, 2014

Canadian Antiques Dealer Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Attempted Wildlife Smuggling - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Colorado Big Game Hunting Outfitter Sentenced to More Than Two Years for Role in Illegal Mountain Lion and Bobcat Hunts - Friday, November 21, 2014

Owners of Safari Company Indicted for Illegal Rhino Hunts - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Big Game Hunting Outfitter Pleads Guilty to Felony Conspiracy Charge in Connection with Illegal Mountain Lion and Bobcat Hunting Activities - Friday, August 15, 2014

Big Game Hunting Guide Pleads Guilty to Felony Conspiracy Charge in Connection with Colorado Outfitter’s Illegal Mountain Lion and Bobcat Hunting Activities - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Canadian Antique Dealer Charged with Trafficking Wildlife - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Long Island Fish Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Falsifying Federal Records, and Lacey Act Violations - July 16, 2014

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Rhino and Ivory Smuggling Conspiracy - Tuesdsay, June 24, 2014

Ringleader of International Rhino Smuggling Conspiracy Sentenced in New Jersey to 70 Months in Prison for Wildlife Trafficking Crimes - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Acting Assistant Attorney General Dreher Remarks for District of Columbia Bar Association Panel on U.S. Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. Washington, DC - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brooklyn Fish Dealer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Two California Men Indicted for Selling Endangered Black Rhinoceros Horns - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

National Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and Interpol Officials to Mark World Wildlife Day - Thursday, February 27, 2014

Narwhal Tusk Trafficker Convicted of Conspiracy and Money Laundering - Friday, February 14, 2014

Tropical Fish Importer Pleads Guilty in New York Federal Court to Piranha Import Violations - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Irish National Sentenced to Serve 14 Months in Prison for Trafficking of Endangered Rhinoceros Horns - Friday, January 10, 2014


Antiques Dealer Sentenced To 37 Months In Prison For Wildlife Smuggling - Thursday, December 5, 2013

Smuggling Ring Sentenced in Los Angeles for Criminal Trafficking of Endangered Rhinoceros Horn - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Antiques Dealer Sentenced in New York City for Crimes Relating to Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Rhinoceros Horns - Thursday, February 14, 2013


Federal Officials Announce Nationwide Crackdown on Black Market Rhino Trade - Thursday, February 23, 2012


Last Updated: March 2015