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Press Release

Worcester Man Indicted for Wildlife Smuggling

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Worcester man was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday in connection with unlawfully importing salamander and turtle species.    

Nathan Boss, 27, was charged by indictment with two counts of smuggling wildlife into the United States, two counts of smuggling wildlife out of the United States, and making a false statement to a federal agent. Boss was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in October 2018.

According to the charging documents, on Sept. 19, 2019, federal investigators intercepted an inbound U.S. Postal Service package from Hong Kong that was addressed to “Shelton Boss” at an address on Mildred Avenue in Worcester. The package was found to contain four black-breasted leaf turtles (Geoemyda spengleri), a species included in the Convention for Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna, an international agreement joined by the U.S. that governs the importation of designated wildlife. Specifically, any black-breasted leaf turtle imported into the United States must be declared and approved by Fish and Wildlife Service before any shipment can be received. 

The charges provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and David Sykes, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement made the announcement today. Assistance with the investigation was provided by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case. 

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated January 8, 2021