ITEM - SMUGGLED-2 BEATS THREE MORE ATTEMPTS TO HAVE IT BANNED IN NSW COURTS
- HOSER SITES ILLEGALLY WIPED FROM INTERNET - OTHER ATTEMPTS TO SUPPRESS
SMUGGLED-2 - CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OF THESE EVENTS - THEY ARE NOT COVERED
BELOW ON THIS SITE!!!!!!!
YOU MAY BE LOOKING AT A
MIRROR SITE...IF YOU ARE THEN TRY TO VIEW THE SITE AT http://www.smuggled.com/aussmu1.htm.
FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE POSTINGS. THAT SITE MAY BE WIPED ILLEGALLY
BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT SO IF YOU CANNOT ACCESS THE SITE KEEP THIS
SITE BOOKMARKED IN ORDER TO GET REGULAR UPDATES
CHONDRO'S - THEFTS BY
WILDLIFE OFFICERS - NEW ACTION TO GET RETURN OF STOLEN SNAKES - ALSO SEE
NOVEMBER 1997 UPDATE BELOW...
News Item dated January 1997. A group of private reptile keepers in
Sydney, New South Wales, who had their Green Pythons (Chondropython (=Morelia)
viridis) stolen from them by officers of the New
South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), have launched
a new attempt to get their snakes back. The snakes were taken from the
keepers during a number of raids by NPWS and Police about August/September
1995. The heavily armed officials stormed their houses and grabbed the
writhing snakes out of their cages. It is understood the snakes were taken
to Sydney's Taronga Zoo to replace a number that had died from an earlier
theft/seizure (from Bob Buckley in Queensland that were later ordered returned
to him by a court of law - twice!). An independent member of Parliament
in New South Wales who has recently called for a Royal Commission into
NPWS (following the failed attempt to ban Smuggled-2),
has been enlisted to help extract a return of the illegally taken snakes.
Noting that none of the keepers had been charged over their keeping of
the snakes and further noting that all had been held pursuant to NPWS issued
permits, the three men demanded a return of their snakes and a guarantee
of immunity from further harassment.
The thefts of the snakes appeared to be initiated for one of, or a combination
of reasons, including a stated desire by certain NPWS officials to ensure
that no captive Green Pythons remain in private hands and a desire to get
one of the keepers back for blowing the lid on corruption in NPWS (pages
94-6 Smuggled-2). The need to replace dead and/or illegally
sold off snakes from Sydney's Taronga Zoo cannot be discounted as a further
possible reason for this more recent round of Green Python thefts. A statement
was made to NSW Police by a well-known Sydney reptile dealer(name deleted),
claiming to have been offered Green Pythons by a zoo keeper (name deleted),
who stated that the snakes would be written off by the zoo as dead after
he sold them. It appears that NPWS may have had a role in suppressing a
One of the private keepers involved in the above Green Python saga was
recently fined in a Queensland court for an allegedly serious criminal
offense. During the raid, a photo was taken by the officials. It depicted
a Goanna (Monitor lizard) that had been
clearly photographed in the wild. The keeper was fined $100 for illegally
photographing the lizard (the exact offense being listed as 'interfere
with wildlife'). In a Queensland court, one does not necessarily have to
prove 'guilt' to obtain a conviction. Under a number of Acts merely 'a
suspicion' is enough to secure a conviction. That is actually written into
the laws. Such laws and wording is relatively unique in the western (so-called
Meanwhile at Herbeton in North Queensland, Bob Buckley has just hatched
over a dozen eggs from his Green Python. Last time he bred these snakes,
local NPWS officials took all his Green Pythons including 27 newly hatched
young. By the time Buckley got a court order demanding the return of the
snakes, all had allegedly died (see Smuggled-2 for details), although it
appears that some of the snakes had in fact been illegally sold on. This
time around Buckley is hoping to be left alone by wildlife officials.
Green Pythons are routinely bred in North America and Europe but are
rare in captivity in Australia (where they are native!) and it appears
local wildlife officials seem intent on keeping it that way.
UPDATE ON ABOVE STORY - NOVEMBER 1997
Bob Buckley of North Queensland has again been raided by QNPWS officials
O'Shea and others who have again seized Green Pythons and have also gone
interstate in search of other snakes bred by him. O'Shea appears to have
developed an obsessive desire to stop ANYONE from keeping Green Pythons
in captivity in Australia. In a confidential letter to the Qld and NSW
Governments he falsely stated that such activity could cause the extinction
of this and/or other species of reptile in Queensland.
Meanwhile O'Shea's campaign against keeping Green Pythons in captivity
in Australia has recently suffered a major setback. Charges against Bob
Withey in NSW over Green Pythons that he held have been lost. The NPWS/NSW
seized a number of Green Pythons from Bob Withey, Charles Acheson and Stuart
Barnes (all of NSW) and Brian Barnett (of
Victoria) on the alleged basis that these snakes were not captive bred.
That the NPWS officials had fabricated these charges was recently proven
when their charges failed in a NSW court of law and it was agreed by all
parties that there was NO BASIS for these allegations.
NPWS have now undertaken to return these snakes. Unfortunately, not
all will be returned. You see, Taronga Zoo and NPWS are claiming that some
have died. At least one statement has been made to NSW Police that one
or more keepers at that zoo illegally traded some of these and/or other
seized Green Pythons for $1,000 cash per specimen to unlicenced keepers
in NSW. The keepers purchased these snakes in anticipation of an amnesty
for illegally obtained reptiles in that state.
Such an amnesty took place in the month of October 1997, with the result
that a huge number of formerly unlicenced reptile keepers availed themselves
of the opportunity to get legitimate reptile permits in that state for
the first time in 23 years.
In the bird scene, NPWS have also suffered a major dent in their already
battered image. Charges falsified against Neville Conners over some Black
Cockatoos fell flat on their face. He was aquitted and NPWS were ordered
to pay all damages and return the seized birds. It appears that some had
died and others were severely injured (broken leg, etc), while in custody
at Taronga Zoo. Conners was awared costs at the hearing and is now seeking
further damages through the legal system. NSW Minister for the environment
is now also in strife as she put out false and defamatory media releases
about Conners. She had stated he was a smuggler and other things and had
backed NPWS in the matter with the multi-million dollar resources of her
NPWS official Jeff Hardy has also come under fire over conflicts of
interest. His wife maintains a large aviary set-up at her residence and
it has been claimed by others within NPWS that she has unlawfully received
unfavourable treatment in terms of licencing, potential breaches of regulations
and policies, etc. Hardy has also been under attack for issuing a licence
to a so-called snimal rescue group while at the same time denying the same
permits to other groups in the same area, which had substantially superior
expertise and had been in existence for a longer time.
QUEENSLAND OFFICERS UNDER INVESTIGATION
FOLLOWING BUCKLEY RAID
It was reported in the Cairns Post newspaper (Saturday,
23 August 1997) that Queensland Police Fauna Squad Detective Sgt. John
O'Shea and others (including members of the Queensland Department of Environment,
Police and Wildlife Australia) had allegedly seized ten Chondropython
viridis from well-known and respected Australian herpetologist
It was alleged by Detective Sgt. O'Shea that Buckley had been charged
with offenses and was to appear in the Atherton Magistrates Court on September
25th. However, Buckley has denied this and says that he has not in fact
been charged with any offense, and furthermore, was not even at home when
the snakes were "stolen". Mr. Buckley says that the officer,
Det. Sgt. John O'Shea had recently been shown to have falsified evidence
in a case against Buckley, and is himself being investigated by the Queensland
Criminal Justice Commission. It is alleged that Det. Sgt. O'Shea broke
down and cried in Court, and later threatened both Mr. Buckley and his
Officers of the Queensland Department of Environment are also currently
facing investigation by the Criminal Justice Commission for alleged improper
conduct in the seizure of another large reptile collection, and have been
accused of having left two highly venomous snakes behind after seizing
a collection of reptiles in Ravenshoe, Queensland. It is also being alleged
that the officers lied under oath before a magistrate in an application
for a warrant to seize these reptiles.
Allegations have surfaced that the Departrnent of Environment and Police
Fauna Squad have drawn up a "hitlist" of herpetologists and are
aiming at seizing the collections owned by these people for inclusion in
a government operated captive breeding, for profit enterprise.
Herpetologists worldwide are urged to support calls for an independent
investigation of Queensland's wildlife authorities and should indicate
their concern by sending letters to: The Honourable Robert Edward Borbidge
MLA, Premier, Level 15, Executive building, 100 George St., Brisbane QLD
- David Williams, Herpetologist, Cairns Australia
From pages 88-89 in Reptile And Amphibian Magazine (USA),
Issue 51, November 1997.
£500 Reward on offer - for
information leading to the return of the pair of coral phase Pygmy Spiny-Tailed
Skinks (Egernia depressa) stolen from Jerry Cole's stand at the
International Herpetological Society's (IHS) Reptile Fair in Walsall on
Sunday, 14th September. E. depressa is a small skink of approximately
14 cm, orange in colour with an extremely spiky tail. These two animals
represent the only specimens of the species outside Jerry's collection
known to be in the UK (a minimum of three years work and a third of his
breeding group). Photographs of this species can be found in the book Australian
Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser. Would anyone with any
information please contact Jerry on (UK) 01305 261302 or at Purlands Farm,
Bridport Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 9DS, ENGLAND.
Swedish Government Massacres
1,000 Tortoises - International Condemnation Results
In the last week of October 1996 a shipment of 1,000 Land Tortoises
(Testudo horsfeildi) were seized by authorities at Arlanda Airport
Stockholm. They had been imported by a Russian dealer. These tortoises
were in emaciated condition and had not been fed for some time. Some were
dead and/or dying through neglect. Following news of the seizure the International
Tortoise Trust and other welfare organisations offered assistance with
the care and possible repatriation of the tortoises and/or the finding
of suitable home/s for these reptiles.
Swedish authorities rejected these offers and shortly afterwords (just
over a week later) froze all tortoises, thereby killing them by the fastest
and easiest means possible. This massacre occurred on or about 24th/5th
of October 1996, with Swedish officials working overtime to do the job.
The Ministry of Agriculture officials rushed through with the killing due
to news of the seizure and plans to kill the tortoises being posted through
the internet over the previous few days. The killing was brought foreword
to beat the expected avalanche of protests over the plan. Click
here for further details about the massacre, including a press release
from the Tortoise trust.
OFFICIAL AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
PROBE INTO WILDLIFE EXPORT AND OTHER MATTERS.
Subject: commercial use of Australian native wildlife Date of this notice:
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 07:11:15 GMT
The Australian Senate has referred the following matters to the Rural
and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and
report by Monday, 26 May, 1997:
(a) the potential impact which commercial utilisation of native wildlife
might have on the Australian environment;
(b) the current and future economic viability of these commercial activities;
(c) the adequacy of existing Federal Government regulations and controls
to ensure biodiversity of any native species commercially utilised.
Written submissions can be sent to the Committee at Parliament House,
Care of Senator John Woodley, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia.
Phone: +61 6 277 3510
A closing date for submissions has not yet been set.
Within Australia the Committee Secretary can be contacted in Canberra
by phoning 06 277 3510.
It is recommended that interested parties read Smuggled - The Underground
Trade in Australia's Wildlife and Smuggled-2 - Wildlife Trafficking, Crime
and Corruption in Australia, by Raymond Hoser, before making submissions.
The Committee is chaired by Senator John Woodley, an Australian Democrat
Senator from Queensland. Senator Woodley is also the person who initiated
For further details about the Committee's work, sumission guidelines
etc, visit the site at http://www.aph.gov.au/committee/commfp.html
NEWS ITEM - NEW NPWS/NSW
CASE - MORE LIES!!!!
From: David Harrison
October 16th 1996 AAPA Member, Mr. Neville Conners, strongly maintains
innocence A licensed Grafton bird breeder and dealer maintains his absolute
innocence to convictions this week in the Downing Centre Local Court in
respect of illegal activities with the breeding and trade of various species
of Black Cockatoos. All trade in these species was in full accordance with
licence provisions as laid down by NSW NPWS under the NPWS Act.
All parents of birds bred during the previous 12 months were required
to be identified by the breeder, he followed these directions of the NPWS
agents during a massive raid on
his home a little over 2 years ago involving some 12 NPWS, Customs, Police
as well as a helicopter. This bureaucratic overkill is
routine here in Australia and it is suggested anyone who disbelieves this
should read Raymond Hoser's latest book, Smuggled-2
(see article below) which is available(see article below) through
AAPA. One pair of birds nominated by the breeder were bled on the spot
and 8 birds were removed from their breeding facilities where some had
been located for up to 12 years. These birds were all taken to Sydney and
placed in the Taronga Zoo. They were DNA tested some weeks later along
with the other samples taken. DNA testing was carried out on the blood
samples taken as well as from the samples taken from all young birds bred
during the previous 12 months. The tests CONFIRMED that ALL nominated progeny
were from the FOUR breeding pairs nominated.
NPWS agents then proceeded to go back through the breeders records and
test birds from a number of years prior to the raid sold to various owners
around Australia. Finally some birds were discovered with DNA that did
not match any of the FOUR tested parent pairs. NPWS then proceeded to prosecute
on the basis of these "extra" birds without asking (or apparently
even considering) if they could have come from some of the other 6 breeding
pairs held by the owner or even from pairs since sold by this well respected
and successful breeder of all types of cockatoos.
Environment Minister Pam Allan falsely claimed this week that "DNA
testing has seen a rise in the prices of these birds". In fact these
birds are being bred so successfully within aviculture (and these increased
breedings are indicated on NPWS records) that the prices are falling. the
published price list values of a selection of black cockatoos from 1994
to 1996 are Red-Tails $3900 down to $2200, Yellow-Tail $4500 to $3500,
White-Tail $4000 down to $3000.
David Harrison, National Secretary of the AAPA, said today "Perhaps
the greatest problem in aviculture today is its perception as portrayed
by NPWS and most "green" groups. In fact the advances made in
private aviculture have resulted in vast changes in general breeding techniques
to the point where many parrots can be induced to produce "out of
season" or "chain laid" eggs of such quantity that they
could almost be compared to the similar production of domestic fowl".
"The refusal of NPWS and other Authorities to accept exceptional breeding
results by professionals who put in 24 hour days 7 days a week to achieve
such results is seen as one of the greatest areas of concern in Aviculture
NPWS has been invited to attend conventions and to see firsthand how
and why private aviculture outstrip totally the production achieved by
government zoos, etc. They refused to attend". As long as this attitude
continues travesties of justice such as we have seen this week will continue.
Many aviculturists cannot afford the costs involved in fighting such a
savage attack on individual Australian Rights. The Breeder found guilty
this week has already lodged a full appeal on all aspects and will be fighting
with the total support of 25,000 licensed aviculturists in NSW. He will,
with a Judge with the appropriate intellect to accurately preside, eventually
obtain justice - but at what cost?
The case comes up for appeal in NSW on 14th April 1997 at the Sydney
Further enquiries: 018 664 816 -- David Harrison PO Box 10 Coutts Crossing,
2460, NSW, Australia
PH: +61-66-493433 FAX: +61-66-493267
AUSTRALIAN AVICULTURE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION INC.
STOP PRESS: SEPTEMBER 1997, THE BIRD BREEDER
SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE CASE, MR. NEVILLE CONNERS BEAT ALL CHARGES ON APPEAL
AND JOINED RAYMOND HOSER AND OTHERS IN A CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE OPEN INQUIRY
INTO THE NPWS/NSW. CONNERS WAS AWARDED FULL COSTS FOR HIS FIGHTING THE
CASE - A CASE THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED AND HAS ANNOUNCED A
DAMAGES CLAIM AGAINST NPWS/NSW THAT WILL BE SUBSTANTIAL.
The reason behind this intrusion
into private aviculture, businesses, hobbyists and individual pet owners
The Bigger the PIG at the
TROUGH the more of the food it consumes-
ANCA is a department that
has existed solely for the purpose of painting rocks white and producing
glossy brouchers. National Parks and Wildlife is the domain of State bodies
such as CALM, NPWS, etc. ANCA needed to change its name from Australian
NPWS so that it at least looked a bit different from the ones who did the
work. Then the only areas of actual "work" left for them was
the simple procedures involved with legal importation, and of course border
control. Here a major problem reared its head, legal importation of parrots,
pigeons, budgies, etc., saw a total drying up of any percieved problem
with smuggling of birds into Australia, so an attempt was made to slow
down, disrupt and hinder importation protocols to a degree where the problem
became so great that ANCA agents were able to then offer "easy import"
in return for CASH.
Aviculturists were so incensed
by ANCA's actions that formal complaints were laid, after NO ACTION taken
the complaints went to the Federal Police. The results of this investigation
were as expected. Similar attempts at CASH for services have since been
made to an exporter of exotics. Reports of EGGS entering Australia with
a member of the CITES delegation upon return from Florida are also being
Attempts at uncovering the
corruption within this federal department have led to direct threats to
me (David Harrison) if I as Editor of AVI-NEWS was to continue
pointing out the true reasons for the ANCA'S proposed registration scheme.
I was informed by telephone
calls to stop immediately or I would suffer, first with the Tax Department
being put through me and if I continued then worse would happen.
I continued - I then had
TWO SEPARATE INVESTIGATIONS by the ATO!!
THESE RADICALS WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO ACHIEVE THEIR OBJECTIVES
- WHATEVER THEY MAY BE, & NO MATTER WHO SUFFERS.
What to do?
Well first of all ANCA climbed
into bed with a couple of individuals claiming to represent AUSTRALIAN
AVICULTURE. One the wife of a pet shop owner and the other a retired cattle
vet. Neither of these people has any major interest in aviculture and certainly
they are not known by many outside of Sydney.
This group conspired to
attack aviculture in such a way as had not been previously thought of by
the *WATERMELON GREENS of ANCA. ANCA is heavy with green radicals whose
main aim is to see "no animals kept in captivity". These
alledged representatives of aviculture have been ostrasised by their peers,
thrown off the committee of the small Sydney base group they belong to
- and then by manipulation got back on again. They have joined ANCA in
promoting some of the many BLATENT LIES over the past years of this scheme,
and as a final SLAP IN THE FACE for Australian Aviculture they have now
been handed a position on the Exotic Bird Committee.
Then ANCA decided to stop
importation as a twofold reason - first as retaliation for aviculturists
refusal to pay bribes, and secondly as a vain hope that they may cause
a smuggling situation to exist so as to justify their scheme.
*GREEN on the outside - but RED
Since the launching of this internet site, AAC have received a number
of E-mails seeking information on a number of Cairns based wildlife officers.
These include Michael Anthony Chep and Thomas James
East, both formerly of the Qld Police Service who left under what
are widely regarded as highly dubious circumstances. Another DEH official,
Brenton Carrick Vincent is also subject of information requests.
With the e-mails have come a mass of (at this stage) unsubstantiated allegations
against all three men, although these allegations are in line with previous
activities by all three men, so are regarded at this stage as probably
correct. (Refer to the book Smuggled-2 for
details - see further down this page as to how to get the book).
In relation to East, it has been alleged that he was adversely
named in an Inquiry into Aboriginal Deaths in custody re incidents on Cape
York, while he was still a serving Police Officer. Any further information
re the Inquiry and the report itself (where it could be obtained or a copy
of it), are sought by AAC (see E-mail address below). We also seek further
material re all three officers, particularly in relation to criminal actions
by all three in their capacities as wildlife officers. While a substantial
amount of adverse information is presented in Smuggled-2,
we believe that there are substantially more illegal activities which have
yet to come to light, based on a number of (as yet unsubstantiated) further
allegations. Further information in this regard would be appreciated.
HOT NEWS ITEM DECEMBER
28th 1996 - SMUGGLED-2 BEATS THREE MORE ATTAMPTS TO HAVE IT BANNED IN NSW
COURTS - HOSER SITES ILLEGALLY WIPED FROM INTERNET - OTHER ATTEMPTS TO
SUPPRESS SMUGGLED-2 - CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OF THESE EVENTS - THEY ARE
NOT COVERED BELOW ON THIS SITE!!!!!!!
CASE SCANDALS - A TALE OF INTRIGUE!! THE TONY SILVA CASE - CLICK HERE FOR
41 VILLAGE AVENUE
DONCASTER VICTORIA 3108
JANUARY 5TH 1997
THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE,
ATTENTION THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER - VICTORIA,
383 LATROBE STREET,
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, 3000,
PHONE: +61 3 9607-7681
FAX: +61 3 9607-7390
Over the past week, I have been advised by a Mr. Scott Solar of the
United States of America that a person impersonating myself attempted to
purchase (illegally), some reptiles from him to export to me/my address
here in Australia. As your department is well aware, I have been involved
in exposing the illegal trade in wildlife to and from this country for
many years and I am disturbed that someone should be attempting to set
me up in the way described above. (Solar's address details are: PO Box
11, Chino CA., 91708-0011, USA, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). On the basis
of events in the past week, I ask that yourselves, Australia Post, Customs
and other relevant agencies investigate these action/s in attempting to
set me up and if necessary to check all parcels coming to my home address
via the postal system and/or otherwise. However I do ask that it be made
known if and when individual parcels are checked, by a notation on these
For my part I will notify relevant authorities if and when any unsolicited
fauna or other contraband arrives at my home address or to me in any other
way. Furthermore I will NOT accept responsibility for any material that
arrives in my possession not solicited by myself and/or bogusly ordered.
Furthermore none has been or will be solicited by me. I will however surrender
any improperly obtained fauna or other contraband that arrives in my possession
forthwith upon receipt (after I have photographed it and noted it's contents).
Copies of this letter have been faxed widely in order to give myself
some level of protection against any further potential setups. Assuming
you are familiar with the contents of my book The
Hoser Files - The Fight Against Entrenched Official Corruption,
you will be aware that I have had to defend myself in the courts against
a number of set-ups by corrupt government officials, including at least
two cases where officials have illegally altered documents (for example
see last four pages of The Hoser Files). I do not want to be subject to
any further fabricated charges. Please take the entire contents of this
letter seriously and advise me of any and all results of any and all investigations
by yourselves and/or other government agencies.
Please fill in and fax back immediately the following FAX RETURN SHEET
YOURS FAITHFULLY - RAYMOND HOSER.
USA CASES OF SMUGGLING
AND WILDLIFE CRIME.
MONDAY 13TH JANUARY RELEASE PROVIDED TO THIS
SITE BY STEVE GRENARD
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - - A U.S. judge Friday handed down the stiffest
ever jail term for reptile smuggling, sentencing a German man to almost
four years for conspiring to smuggle hundreds of endangered snakes and
tortoises into the United States and Canada, the Justice Department said.
Wolfgang Michael Kloe of Raenberg, Germany was sentenced by Judge Ann
Conway in Orlando, Florida, to 46 months in prison, after pleading guilty
last October to conspiracy, smuggling, money laundering and attempted escape.
A second man, Simon David Harris of Blairgowrie, South Africa, was given
three years probation for smuggling Madagascan tree boas and spider tortoises
into Florida from Frankfurt, Germany in August 1996.
Trade in all of the animals smuggled -- Madagascan tree boas and ground
boas, spider tortoises, and radiated tortoises -- is restricted under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
The animals were discovered when a Customs Service officer at Orlando
International Airport felt something stirring inside Harris' suitcase,
the Justice Department said.
Four others indicted with Kloe and Harris are outside the United States.
Further details on this case will be posted on this
site as they become available
REPTILE NEWS BRIEF FROM
Michael Van Nostrand President, and Dale Marantz, employees of Strictly
Reptiles, Florida, one of U.S. largest wholesalers of reptiles and amphibians
has been indicted by the US Federal Government on Jan 31, 1997 for illegally
importing 1,100 herps listed on CITES.
They are charged with fraud, conspiracy and illegal international
trade in wildlife. The herps included tortoises, snakes and lizards all
Personally they face, if convicted, up to 49 years in prison, and
a $2.5 million dollar fine, while the company faces a $5.3 million dolllar
It should be noted that at this stage both men have been charged
only and the presumption of innocence should in the meantime be given to
Further developments on this case (regardless of which way it goes)
will be posted on this site as news becomes available.
SEE BELOW FOR FURTHER MEDIA RELEASE RE THIS CASE
US GOVERNMENT - FWS MEDIA RELEASE DATED 8TH MARCH 1997
BOA CONSTRICTOR CONVICTION: On January 30, 1997, the U.S. Justice Department
issued the following press release: William A. Keefer, United States Attorney
for the Southern District of Florida, and Jorge Picon, Senior Resident
Agent, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce that Tim Eaton, 36, of
Tequesta, Florida, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to
pay a $25,000 fine today by U. S. District Court Judge Lenore Nesbitt following
his conviction by a Federal jury on all five counts of an indictment charging
him with conspiring to smuggle over one hundred Peruvian red tail boa constrictors
into Miami International Airport in violation of the Endangered Species
Act. Eaton had also been charged with two counts of smuggling boa constrictors
and with two counts of receipt, sale, and facilitating the transportation
of smuggled boa constrictors in violation of the smuggling statute, Title
18, U.S.C. section 545. The conviction came after a week-long jury trial
in July 1996.
According to the evidence presented at trial, between February and November
1993, the defendant conspired to smuggle approximately 141 red tail boa
constrictors (Boa constrictor), one rainbow boa constrictor (Epicrates
cenchria), and three green anacondas (Eunectes murinus) from Peru in violation
of the Endangered Species Act. Because these animals are species of wildlife
listed on Appendix II of CITES, they are prohibited from importation into
the United States without first obtaining a valid CITES permit from the
exporting country. At all relevant times, Peru had banned the commercial
trade in its Amazon rainforest species, including these.
The Peruvian red tail boa constrictor is a highly desired reptile within
the U.S. pet trade. Because of its distinctive red coloring and because
of its relative rarity due to the fact that Peru does not allow its export,
the Peruvian red tail boa commands a much higher price than the common
boa constrictor in the U.S. pet market. At the sentencing hearing, the
Court found that the evidence showed that in 1993, a healthy Peruvian red
tail boa constrictor would sell for approximately $400 on the retail market,
bringing the total retail value of the smuggled wildlife in this case to
According to the evidence adduced at trial, Eaton is the president of
Peruvian Imports Unlimited, which imports and distributes "Cat's Claw,"
reported to be a herbal remedy. Eaton testified at trial that his company
grossed $3.5 million in sales in 1995.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Priegues
of the Environmental Crimes Section and investigated by Special Agent Charles
2ND US GOVERNMENT - FWS MEDIA RELEASE - MARCH
REPTILE SMUGGLERS INDICTED:
On January 31, 1997, the U.S. Justice Department issued the following
press release: William A. Keefer, United States Attorney for the Southern
District of Florida, and Jorge Picon, Senior Resident Agent, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, announced that Michael J. Van Nostrand, Dale Marantz,
and Strictly Reptile, Inc., of Hollywood, Florida, were indicted by a Federal
grand jury in Miami charging them in a thirteen count indictment with conspiring
to smuggle various reptiles from Argentina into Miami International Airport
in violation of the Endangered Species Act and CITES. Michael J. Van Nostrand,
Dale Marantz, and Strictly Reptile, Inc. have also been charged with four
counts of receipt, sale, and facilitating the transportation of two species
of smuggled boa constrictors, Chaco tortoises, and Tegu lizards in violation
of the smuggling statute, Title 18, U.S.C. section 545. In addition, four
misdemeanors are charged against each of the defendants under the Endangered
Species Act for their activities involving trade in protected species.
Finally, the grand jury brought four felony charges against each defendant
for violation of the Lacey Act, a conservation statute that permits the
United States to assist other countries and the international community
by giving effect to their wildlife protection laws in the United States.
According to allegations of the Indictment, the defendants engaged in
a protracted effort to secure wildlife illegally from Argentina over the
period from November of 1990 through April of 1992. The Indictment identifies
six different species of wildlife allegedly smuggled into the United States
by the coconspirators, totaling over 750 specimens of boas, tortoises,
turtles, and lizards. Because these animals are species of wildlife listed
on Appendix I and II of CITES, they are prohibited from importation into
the United States without first obtaining a valid CITES permit from the
exporting country. According to the allegations of the Indictment, at all
relevant times, the three defendants failed to obtain or possess the required
permits or certificates to engage in their trading and sales activity with
respect to the specimens identified in the charges.
If convicted on all counts, Van Nostrand and Marantz each face maximum
penalties of five years in jail for each of the nine felony charges against
them and up to one year in jail on each of the misdemeanor counts. They
are also subject to fines up to $250,000 on each of the felony charges
and $100,000 on each misdemeanor count. The corporate defendant faces criminal
fines of $500,000 on each felony and $200,000 on
each of the misdemeanor charges. Additionally, the Indictment contains
five forfeiture counts which permit the Government, upon a conviction in
the case, to seize the proceeds of the illegal activity and any property
derived therefrom. In the event the forfeitable property cannot be located,
substitute property of the defendants may be seized and forfeited.
Mr. Keefer commended the efforts of the Special
Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Miami Resident Office, who
investigated this matter on behalf of the United States.
Kenneth B. Stansell, Chief
Office of Management Authority
The Kansas City Star - October 25, 1997, reports:
Jackie Williams, US attorney for Kansas, announced that a federal grand
jury had indicted two men on charges of illegally buying and selling more
than 100 ornate box turtles.
Indicted were Daniel Newton of Elk City, KS -- two counts of transporting
and selling 837 box turtles in interstate commerce -- and Terry Luke Stevens
of Thibodaux, LA -- three counts of receiving, acquiring and purchasing
numerous snakes and 175 box turtles that had been caught in Kansas. If
convicted, Newton could receive ten years in a federal prison and Stevens
11 years. They are scheduled to appear before a US magistrate on November
18, 1997, in Topeka, KS.
Some of the box turtles confiscated were taken to Caldwell, KS, "The
Ornate Box Turtle Capital of the World," and released during a ceremony
at a roadside park at the edge of town.
Richard harrold, chief of special operations for the Kansas Wildlife
and Park Dept., said the illegal turtle trade probably has been under way
in the state for some time, but only recently has the department become
involved in curtailing it.
Sentencing of Bird Smuggler
Thu, 6 Nov 97 22:29:39 GMT
Multiple recipients of list email@example.com
The following information was forwarded by the U.S. Department of Justice,
Wildlife and Marine Resources Section. It concerns the re-sentencing of
Theodora "Teddy" Swanson who was convicted in July 1995 for felony
charges stemming from her involvement in a multi-year conspiracy to smuggle
cockatoo eggs from Australia to the United States. Individuals involved
in the case smuggled approximately 560 eggs, and sold birds hatched from
the eggs for prices ranging from $1,000 - $13,000 per bird, depending on
the species. Species involved included the rose-breasted cockatoo, Major
Mitchell's cockatoo, sulphur-crested cockatoo, slender-billed cockatoo,
white-tailed black cockatoo, and the red-tailed black cockatoo. Previously
sentenced defendants from the case include, but are not limited to, William
A. Wegner, Brian T. Bradley, David C. Freda, and Mark Skillman. The fifteen
individuals convicted during this segment of Operation Renegade received
a total 136 months incarceration and 162 months probation. The leader of
the conspiracy, William Wegner, 41, of La Jolla, California, is presently
serving a 5-year sentence of imprisonment and has been ordered to pay a
Operation Renegade, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement
United States v. Theodora Swanson
(C.D. Cal. (Anderson)
On Monday, November 3, 1997, the defendant's original 37 month prison
sentence was reduced to 30 months upon re-sentencing by Judge Aubrey B.
Collins in Los Angeles. The case was remanded by the Ninth Circuit earlier
this year when the court disallowed an enhancement under the sentencing
guidelines for obstruction of justice. Judge Kenyon, the original sentencing
judge, who has since retired, has awarded Swanson an obstruction of justice
enhancement for her patently false trial testimony, yet conceded at sentencing
that the defendant herself may have truly believed what she said. That
belief would relieve her of the obstruction enhancement, and the prosecution
conceded that point on appeal. To avoid the possibility of retrying sentencing
issues before Judge Collins, the defense and prosecution jointly stipulated
to a 30 month prison term (and no fine as before). The defendant, a former
bird keeper for the Playboy Mansion, must begin serving her sentence January
Swanson was a co-conspirator between 1987 and 1991 in the egg smuggling
case, in which approximately 560 eggs were illegally transported from Australia
to the United States, with an estimated wildlife market value of $1,241,000.
Swanson was convicted of 1 misdemeanor and 2 felonies in July 1995 after
a two week jury trial. Fourteen other defendants were also convicted in
this segment of Operation Renegade, although Swanson was the only defendant
to choose to go to trial.
Bruce J. Weissgold, CITES Policy Specialist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Rm. 700
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel: (703) 358-1917
Fax: (703) 358-2298
THE FULL LIST OF SITES ON THE SMUGGLED.COM SERVER
Corruption Websites - multiple sites, incl. State Police forces, Politicians,
Wildlife Matters, Paedophilia, etc..
INQUIRIES RE THIS WEB SITE CAN BE MADE TO RAYMOND HOSER IN AUSTRALIA. The
Phone Number for Raymond Hoser in Australia is (Melbourne) 03 9857-4491
or Mobile 0412 777 211 International Callers can call Raymond Hoser on
Non-urgent email inquiries via the Snakebusters bookings page at:http://www.snakebusters.com.au/sbsboo1.htmUrgent inquiries phone:Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:(03) 9812 3322 or 0412 777 211