Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Otha Easley, Acting Special Agent in Charge, NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Division, and Major Camille Soverel, Regional Commander, South A Region, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), announce the filing of an information against Robert Jaques, 43, of Deerfield Beach. The information charges that Jaques sold or offered for sale two Largetooth Sawfish (Pristis perotteti) rostrums, an endangered species, in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 1538(a)(1)(F) and 1540(b)(1). The information also seeks the forfeiture of the Largethooth Sawfish rostrums.
According to the information, on or about June 27, 2013, in Palm Beach County and elsewhere, Jaques sold or offered for sale two Largethooth Sawfish rostrums. The list of species at Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 224.101 identifies the Largetooth Sawfish as an endangered species subject to the ESA. An endangered species is any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A Marra. If convicted, Jaques faces a possible sentence of up to one year in prison, the forfeiture of the Largethooth Sawfish rostrums, and a fine of up to $50,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and FWC. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman O. Hemming, III and Antonia Barnes.
An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.