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Press Release

Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Exporting Crab-Eating Macaque Skulls, Other Wildlife Without Permit

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

Franz Karl Salon, 24, a resident of Miramar, Florida, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Miami, Florida, to five months in prison, to be followed by a two year period of supervised release, for illegally exporting a crab-eating macaque skull to France after he sold the skull on an online e-commerce marketplace. Salon previously pleaded guilty on August 17, 2018.

Federal law requires that persons in the United States who import or export wildlife file a completed United States Fish and Wildlife Service Declaration (Form 3-177) prior to the importation or exportation. This requirement applies to wildlife or wildlife products purchased online which enters the United States from abroad, including shipments made via the United States Postal Service or courier companies such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service.       

Crab-eating macaques and additional macaque species are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement signed by the United States and 182 other countries to ensure that international trade in more than 35,000 species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. International trade in these species is controlled by permits and quotas, or for some species, is completely prohibited except in exceptional circumstances.

According to court documents, Salon failed to obtain the required CITES permits and did not file the required documentation for wildlife, which he imported and exported between September 2013 and August 2016. Salon illegally sold more than $21,000 of foreign wildlife to purchasers in states other than Florida and illegally exported more than $7,000 of wildlife to purchasers in foreign countries. Salon also unlawfully possessed more than $14,000 of wildlife.

“As Attorney General Sessions asserted at last week’s forum on combatting wildlife poaching and trafficking in Washington, U.S. law enforcement is committed to prosecuting participants in the illegal wildlife trade,” said U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida. “In a District that represents a hub for commerce and recreation in the Americas, we are especially sensitive to being used as a center for illegal trafficking activities for both our domestic species and wildlife sourced from our neighbors. We will continue to work with our international, state, and local partners to hold wildlife traffickers accountable for their illegal conduct.”

“Wildlife trafficking is a serious crime that impacts imperiled species across the world," said Edward Grace, Acting Assistant Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement. "We would like to thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Justice for their work on this case. We will continue to work with our partners to combat the illegal wildlife trade."  

“We will work together with our U.S. and International partners to save threatened and endangered species being illegally trafficked into our country,” said Antonio J. Gomez, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division.  “The use of the mail to further the illegal activity of the traffickers will not be tolerated.”

The investigation was handled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Watts-Fitzgerald of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and Senior Trial Attorney Georgiann Cerese of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. 

Information concerning Federal wildlife laws and regulations is available at and contact information for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Wildlife Inspection Offices may be found at A list of the animal and plant species protected by CITES may be found at

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated October 31, 2018