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US antique dealer sentenced in rhino horn ring
|Written by AFP Wire Service|
|Friday, 15 February 2013 09:31|
NEW YORK (AFP) - New York antiques dealer was sentenced Thursday to six months behind bars for obstruction of justice in a crackdown on rhinoceros horn smuggling.
A US federal judge in Manhattan sentenced David Hausman following his guilty plea in July.
Hausman had pretended to aid investigators from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a probe into the illegal trade of horns from the highly endangered African animal. All the time, he was using his insider position to promote his business.
"With today's sentence, David Hausman now knows that trafficking in endangered and legally protected species, and obstructing law enforcement's ability to do its job have grave consequences," US Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Ignacia Moreno, the assistant attorney general for the environment division, said Hausman "posed as someone who was protecting this endangered species when he was really obtaining and using inside information to further the illegal trade in black rhino horns."
Hausman was caught up in Operation Crash, a continuing investigation targeting the trafficking of endangered rhino horns.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice said that three people had been charged in Miami, Newark and New York with trafficking horns, which are highly prized for folkloric medical cures in China.
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|Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 09:44|