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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.



Last Updated: September 2014