Virginia Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Selling Illegal Wildlife Merchandise - NBC4 Washington

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Virginia Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Selling Illegal Wildlife Merchandise

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Endangered Wildlife

    An antiques shop owner in Middleburg, Virginia, has pleaded guilty to smuggling in sawfish blades, turtle shells, ivory, zebra hides and crocodile and bird parts for sale. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018)

    A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to illegally selling and transporting items made from endangered species and other wildlife, such as crocodiles, sea turtles and sawfish.

    Sixty-year-old Keith Foster, the owner of The Outpost antique and exotic merchandise store in Middleburg, pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Lacey Act. As part of his plea, Foster forfeited $275,000 and over 175 items made from wildlife.

    Court documents state Foster imported more than 100 undeclared wildlife items, including some protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species last year. Prosecutors say Foster told a customer about some of his schemes, but the customer was actually a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent.

    Foster faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing in March.

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