LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A 27-year-old Conway man, has been sentenced to three years of probation and 150 hours of community service for importing and processing illegally taken wildlife.
According to a recent press release, The United States and Wildlife Service began an investigation on Jackson Roe in 2015 after an anonymous tip about the illegal activity of a reptile hobbyist who sold and transported various reptiles into and out of the United States.
Through undercover conversations with this individual in China, agents intercepted a package addressed to Roe, which contained two live endangered Chinese giant salamanders in plastic jars with wet moss.
Roe admitted to investigators that he had illegally purchased several live amphibians from a Chinese dealer he met on Facebook. He also admitted to knowing those specific salamanders were protected and expected to become extinct.
Overall, Roe admitted to receiving seven packages sent from Hong Kong containing six Chinese giant salamanders, a Vietnamese leaf turtle, an Indian roofed turtle, and a Chinese big-headed turtle.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission also later seized a Nile crocodile, a Morelet’s crocodile, and an American alligator which were also owned by Roe.
Roe was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward O. Walker after an investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and sentenced by Chief United States District Judge D, Price Marshall, Jr.