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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. Jay Conrad et al., (D. Me., D. Alaska):  On January 7, 2014, Jay Conrad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle narwhal tusks, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one substantive count of smuggling narwhal tusks.  Co-defendant Eddie Dunn pleaded guilty in the District of Alaska to conspiring to traffic in narwhal tusks, and a substantive Lacey Act trafficking violation.

Beginning in approximately 2003, Dunn and Conrad bought more than 100 narwhal tusks from a Canadian resident who had illegally imported the tusks from Canada into Maine.  After receiving them in Tennessee, Dunn and Conrad marketed and sold the tusks using a combination of Internet sales via the “Ebay” auction website, and direct sales to known buyers and ivory collectors across the United States.  Throughout the conspiracy, the defendants made payments to the Canadian tusk supplier by sending money to a mailing address in Bangor, Maine, or directly to the supplier in Canada.   Dunn sold approximately $1.1 million worth of narwhal tusks, and Conrad sold between $400,000 and $1 million worth.
Conrad is not yet scheduled for sentencing, but Dunn is set for March 20, 2014.   Co-defendant Andrew J. Zarauskas is set for trial to begin in Maine on February 12, 2014.  Co-defendant Gregory R. Logan is pending extradition from Canada to Maine.

United States v. David Place, (D. Mass.):  David Place illegally bought and imported sperm whale teeth and narwhal tusks into the United States.  The market value of the teeth and tusks illegally imported by Place was determined to be between $200,000 and $400,000.  Place was convicted by a jury of seven felony counts including conspiracy, Lacey Act, and smuggling violations, and was sentenced to 33 months’ incarceration followed by a three-year term of supervised release.



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: January 2015