Irishman locked up for rhino horn trafficking

2016-01-14 22:27
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Washington - An Irish national has been sentenced to a year in prison for trafficking in endangered rhinoceros horns, the US Justice Department said.

Patrick Sheridan, who was extradited from Britain in September, was sentenced on Wednesday by a federal judge in Waco, Texas.

Sheridan was arrested January 9, 2015 in Britain as part of a crackdown on illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns in the United States.

He was convicted of violating US wildlife trafficking laws by buying two black rhino horns from a taxidermist in Texas through a straw buyer and then selling them in New York.

Two other men also were charged in scheme. One of them, Michael Slattery, pleaded guilty in January 2014 and received a 14 month sentence.

The New York Times reported at the time that they actually bought a mounted rhino head for $18 000 and then resold the horns on it to an Asian buyer for $50 000. The horns were then resold for $80 000, and then again for $108 000 before leaving the United States.

There is high demand for rhino horns in China, where they are used in highly controversial preparations of traditional Chinese medicine.

In recent years, prices of drinking cups made of sculpted rhinoceros horns also have soared in the Chinese art market.

Read more on:    ireland  |  us  |  rhino poaching

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