New York Man Convicted of Trying to Sell Sharks on Internet
The sharks were seized and then brought to New York aquariums after authorities found them on the property.
Not all sharks are found in the water. On Wednesday, a New York State man was convicted of selling the species on the internet Wednesday.
Joshua Seguine, 40, of Dutchess County, pleaded guilty to illegal trafficking and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after prosecutors say the perp admitted to transporting the sharks to his home in New York, where he intended to sell them, according to New York Post.
Prosecutors also said he had other live sharks in a tank at his house, which he posted on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com with intent to sell, according to ABC News.
“The tide has turned for Joshua Seguine, who was convicted and held accountable for his unlawful acts,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said. “We will not tolerate anyone who preys on protected species to line their pockets.”
Seguine pleaded guilty in the Town of LaGrange Justice Court to illegal commercialization of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and wildlife for the illegal possession with intent to sell seven sandbar sharks, a protected species under New York law, Patch reported.
Seguine is reportedly not new to the illegal possession racket: He has been on the radar since 2017, the New York Post reported. Georgia police found five live sharks in his vehicle, and he allegedly told cops he intended to sell the sea creatures when he was pulled over for driving without a license, the Post reported.
He also allegedly admitted to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources investigator that he was headed home to New York and had more sharks in his home, Patch reported.
The information was passed to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and investigators obtained a warrant to search Seguine’s property and found the seven live sharks swimming in the above-ground pool, the Post reported.
The sharks were identified by biologists from the state as sandbar sharks, which are illegal to own without a special license, ABC News reported.
During the authorities' search on the property, they found two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish, an endangered species, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The live sharks were taken from the property and divided among aquariums in Coney Island, Brooklyn, and Riverhead, Long Island, according to ABC News.
“I applaud the work of our environmental conservation police officers, who spearheaded the investigation that resulted in Joshua Seguine being brought to justice,” Basil Seggos, Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, said in a statement to ABC News.“It is critical that we work to protect endangered species that are taken from their natural habitats and sold for profit.”
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