Narwhal Tusks And Teeth

Group of narwhals in the wild. Photo credit: NOAA

NARWHAL TUSKS AND TEETH

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. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/new-jersey-man-sentenced-33-months-prison-trafficking-illegally-imported-narwhal-tusks-and
Updated April 15, 2015