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  #1  
Old 12/04/2007, 11:03 AM
sharkdude sharkdude is offline
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NEWS: Calif. pet store manager smuggled endangered turtles into U.S.

Calif. pet store manager smuggled endangered turtles into U.S.

Monday, December 3, 2007

(12-03) 12:57 PST San Francisco (AP) --


A 29-year-old pet store manager has pleaded guilty to smuggling endangered turtles from Asia and Australia and lying about it on U.S. Customs documents.


Prosecutors said San Francisco resident Coleman Lau tried to hide 14 baby Fly River turtles inside his clothing when he returned from Hong Kong to San Francisco International Airport in March 2004.


U.S. Attorney Scott N. Schools said Thursday that Lau knew it was illegal to import the turtles and lied on a customs declaration asking whether he was bringing wildlife into the U.S.


Fly River turtles enjoy a protected status in their native countries and under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The amphibians which cost up to $500 at pet stores grow to be approximately two feet long and are native to fresh water in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.


Customs officials who seized Lau's turtles handed them over to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which found homes for them at a research center and in California zoos and aquariums. Lau said in court he has been manager of a San Francisco fish and aquarium store for several years.


Lau could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. Lau, who is scheduled to be sentenced in February, faces a maximum penalty for each count of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...n125706S89.DTL
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  #2  
Old 12/04/2007, 11:09 AM
Bebo77 Bebo77 is offline
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darn it.. i was on the waiting list for those.. now ill have to find another source...


jk
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  #3  
Old 12/04/2007, 11:45 AM
KWoo008 KWoo008 is offline
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I wonder if the 14 little wet spots on his clothing was a dead giveaway?
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  #4  
Old 12/04/2007, 11:50 AM
JOSE CASAS JOSE CASAS is offline
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LMAO!!!
  #5  
Old 12/04/2007, 11:55 AM
raskal311 raskal311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by KWoo008
I wonder if the 14 little wet spots on his clothing was a dead giveaway?
Should have double bagged
  #6  
Old 12/04/2007, 12:11 PM
gtrestoration gtrestoration is offline
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Just another case showing how swiftly our justice system works.

SteveU
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  #7  
Old 12/04/2007, 12:26 PM
sharkdude sharkdude is offline
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Hey!~
is that a turtle poking its head out, or are you just happy to see me!


Hark! Money and greed shall lay waste to the creatures, soil, air, and oceans of the Earth!
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  #8  
Old 12/04/2007, 12:28 PM
xtm xtm is offline
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oh well.. I guess the group buy is off
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  #9  
Old 12/04/2007, 12:55 PM
dmzl dmzl is offline
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since when are turtles amphibians?
  #10  
Old 12/04/2007, 01:14 PM
ichthyojason ichthyojason is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmzl
since when are turtles amphibians?
I was thinking that same thing . . .
  #11  
Old 12/04/2007, 01:23 PM
OC CJ OC CJ is offline
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dang it!!!! every time one of these things are posted i pray that it is the owner of ATA!!! sooner or later they'll catch up with that guy.
  #12  
Old 12/04/2007, 01:32 PM
GreshamH GreshamH is offline
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I reconize that name. PIck up any CA phone book, look for a SF listing, and I bet that will be it.
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  #13  
Old 12/04/2007, 01:35 PM
sharkdude sharkdude is offline
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that's one reason I post these stories from California. with our extensive community, odss are someone knows them or shops at their store.
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  #14  
Old 12/04/2007, 01:55 PM
ichthyojason ichthyojason is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by OC CJ
dang it!!!! every time one of these things are posted i pray that it is the owner of ATA!!! sooner or later they'll catch up with that guy.
So I'm not the only one who has seen these turtles there . . .
  #15  
Old 12/04/2007, 04:10 PM
joesynodontis joesynodontis is offline
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do you know any stores out here in so cal doing that kind of activity? I do and it ****es me off because it is someone like me who supports illegal activities like this one. would you do something about it if you did know?
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  #16  
Old 12/04/2007, 04:32 PM
sharkdude sharkdude is offline
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not sure, but captive breed fly turtles and pre-ban imports may be ok, while imports since 2004 are prohibited.
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  #17  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:19 AM
coast2coast7390 coast2coast7390 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by raskal311
Should have double bagged
haha lol
  #18  
Old 12/05/2007, 01:21 AM
coast2coast7390 coast2coast7390 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharkdude
not sure, but captive breed fly turtles and pre-ban imports may be ok, while imports since 2004 are prohibited.
anything before the ban is ok...i remember once that my LFS had Piranahs that a customer brought in...didnt sell them to the public...gave them away to employees...
  #19  
Old 12/05/2007, 09:41 AM
raskal311 raskal311 is offline
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How can you tell if one is pre banned or captive?
  #20  
Old 12/05/2007, 10:57 AM
GreshamH GreshamH is offline
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Some have papers, but really there is now way to tell. It's like extra large clips for assualt rifles. You can possess them under a grandfather clause, but how do they know what is pre ban clips and not?
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