Ivory smuggler jailed

Last updated 09:53 05/06/2014

Relevant offers

Americas

What's behind the global stock market selloff? Einstein's gravitational waves detected from black holes in scientific milestone Project fished 20 vehicles out of bayous Dozens dead in riot at northern Mexico prison Cleveland files claim against Tamir Rice's estate for $500 ambulance fees Severed feet still inside shoes keep mysteriously washing up on US and Canada coasts FBI moves in on last four occupiers at Oregon wildlife refuge Sikh man barred from Mexico flight over turban row sees 'small victory' Gravitational waves discovery would open up new world of science Republicans Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina drop White House bids

A Philadelphia man has been jailed for 2½ years for smuggling African elephant ivory into the United States, in a case that resulted in one of the largest seizures of illegal ivory in US history.

Victor Gordon, 71, was also ordered by US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn to pay a US$7500 (NZ$8912) fine and forfeit US$150,000, along with roughly one ton of elephant ivory that federal agents collected from his art store in April 2009.

The sentencing caps an eight-year investigation that has resulted in nine convictions in Brooklyn for illegally importing elephant ivory, prosecutors said.

The slaughter of African elephants for their ivory remains a major threat to their survival, according to conservationists, and the illegal trade has gained attention in the United States in recent years.

Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement that the prosecution of Gordon was emblematic of the United States' commitment to prevent the flow of illegal ivory within its borders.

"The illicit trade in elephant ivory has created an environmental crisis in Africa and is fuelling the development of organised criminal groups around the world," Lynch said.

Prosecutors said Gordon acquired over a nine year period more than 400 pieces of carved elephant ivory worth US$800,000.

Daniel-Paul Alva, Gordon's lawyer, did not respond to a request for comment. In court papers, Alva had asked that Gordon receive no jail time. He also said that while Gordon collected ivory, it was not the central part of his business or life, and he was not the "criminal mastermind" portrayed by prosecutors.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content