Alleged Rhinoceros Horn Smuggler Indicted by Newark Grand Jury

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Justice Department prosecute trio for black market trade of endangered items.

Three people were charged this week with wildlife smuggling and related charges for their alleged roles in an international rhino horn smuggling ring in Newark, Miami and New York City, officials at the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

A federal grand jury in Newark indicted Zhifei Li for international smuggling of rhinoceros horns, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. In addition, a Miami federal grand jury also indicted Li on the same charge.

Shusen Wei, a 44-year-old Chinese business executive and Li associate was charged with offering a bribe to a federal agent in the Li case.

A third person, Qing Wang, was charged Wednesday in a related criminal complain in federal court in the Southern District of New York for his role in smuggling libation cups carved from rhinoceros horns from New York to Li via Hong Kong, officials said.

The arrests and charges were the result of “Operation Crash,” a nationwide effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute those involved in the black market trade of endangered rhinoceros horns, Fishman said.

gregory l. mitchell February 14, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Tammy & Sam:Perhaps it may not seem all important to you,but just think a moment,today it's Rinos,tomorrow it may be tigers,elephants or whatever-If nothing else,don't you believe these beautiful animals should be protected?I certainly do!!! Respectfully, Gregory L.Mitchell-West Caldwell
A Buck and a Duck! February 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM
You are right, we should cut his nose of with a hack saw, shoot him with no trial and sell tickets to watch.
LindaSue February 16, 2013 at 07:58 PM
I agree with Mr. Mitchell. I will also acknowledge that there may more important issues such as people are starving, they don't have enough water and they have horrible living conditions but does that mean that we should ignore the environment and wild animals. Every time a species dies out it affects the immediate ecosystem and eventually the whole earth's ecosystem. We have laws to protect wild animals that are or may become endangered exactly for this reason. Should we just ignore this problem to fight problems that might seem more important or try to fight all of them? Maybe the people convicted of crimes against the natural world should have to pay fines that could go to fignt world hunger and drug trafficking.
Pete February 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM
But how much of our national resources should we spend on it ? You NEVER will eliminate the trade in rhino horn because it's a highly-regarded traditional medicine that purports to treat (no surprise) impotence. I'd like to have some perspective -- for example, exactly how big IS the trade in rhino horn ? Does it warrant the kind of horsepower that seems to be aimed at it ?
LindaSue February 18, 2013 at 04:39 AM
You will also NEVER eliminate the illegal drug trade.


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