Friday, November 06, 2009

Jury convicts South Dakota man for smuggling leopard hide

A South Dakota man has been found guilty of smuggling a leopard hide from South Africa to the U.S.

By: Associated Press,
Published November 03 2009

ABERDEEN, S.D. — A federal jury has convicted an Aberdeen man, Wayne D. Breitag (BRY’-tag), of smuggling a leopard hide into the United States and of lesser crimes against federal wildlife laws.

Smuggling a leopard hide violates an international treaty that regulates shipments of certain species to 173 countries.

The accusation stemmed from Breitag’s travel to South Africa in August 2002 to hunt leopards. Prosecutors say he shot and killed a leopard during the trip and that a guide arranged to have the hide smuggled to Zimbabwe, where the proper export permit was purchased.

Then, officials say, Breitag falsely told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that he had hunted and killed the leopard in Zimbabwe.

The top penalty for smuggling hides is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (Aberdeen American News)


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