Man gets shelled in punishment for smuggling endangered turtles from U.S. to China


Sep. 5 2021, Published 12:43 p.m. ET

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A man will be caged for the next five years for his role in smuggling endangered turtles from the U.S. to China, federal prosecutors announced.

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Yan Xie, 30, was sentenced to five years in federal prison, 500 hours of community service and a $15,000 fine for his role in the scheme, according to federal prosecutors in Oregon. He was sentenced during a court hearing last week.

From May 2017 until October 2018, Xie conspired with others to buy nearly 770 live turtles from dealers across the U.S., according to prosecutors.

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All of the turtles were protected by the international endangered wildlife agreements, federal prosecutors claimed.

Xie facilitated the purchase and transportation of the turtles, which had a value of more than $150,000, prosecutors noted. Investigators said Xie tried to smuggle the turtles via U.S. mail and commercial airline flights to China.

Police arrested Xie at his Los Angeles home in November 2018.


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