Olathe Man Fined $5,000 For Unlawfully Importing Asian Leopard Cats
KANSAS CITY, KAN. - A Kansas man was sentenced today to pay a $5,000 fine for unlawfully importing endangered leopard cats, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
The leopard cat is a small wild cat native to Asia. It is considered as an endangered species under federal law.
Lawrence E. Payne, 34, Olathe, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Endangered Species Act. The investigation began when Payne applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a breeding license for Asian leopard cats. When investigators served a search warrant at Payne’s home, they found three Asian leopard cats. Payne admitted importing the animals.
McAllister commended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.