New York man charged with smuggling turtles

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NEW YORK — A New York man is charged with federal crimes for allegedly transporting protected species of turtles from the U.S. to China to be sold on the black market for pets. This was reported by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Russell Milis, a 26-year-old resident of New York City, was charged with two counts of smuggling goods from the U.S. and one count of violating the Lacey Act, which is a conservation law designed to prevent the illegal trafficking of fish, wildlife, and plants.

According to the Department of Justice, both types of turtles are covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which is an international agreement aimed to safeguard fish, wildlife, and plants that are endangered or at risk of extinction.

If found guilty on all charges, Milis could be sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined more than $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine the exact sentence if the accused is convicted.

Sean Noone
Sean Noone
Digital Reporter. Sean is a graduate of the University of Dayton and previously worked at WGN-TV and Tribune Media in Chicago. He’s a fan of the Cubs, Minneapolis alternative rock pioneers The Replacements and the Grateful Dead. He's also an avid reader of Mike Caro, John Steinbeck, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen Donaldson.

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