Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Illegal Exotic Animal Parts

Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Illegal Exotic Animal Parts

A recent case in Brooklyn sheds light on the disturbing illegal trade in exotic animal parts.

Usher Weiss, a 26-year-old resident, pleaded guilty after being caught selling items including a mounted cougar head and other prohibited wildlife products to an undercover officer from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The undercover operation took place on November 2, 2023, when Weiss unknowingly met with the officer and exchanged a cougar head mount for $900 in a Borough Park building.

In a subsequent meeting on December 5, Weiss handed over even more illicit items, including a cheetah head mount, a big cat skull, the skin of a pinniped pup, and a bird mount.

Weiss’s inventory of illegal wildlife didn’t stop there. Authorities discovered he also possessed a taxidermized full alligator, a tiger skin, a cheetah skin, and an elephant foot, all of which he claimed to have purchased from online marketplaces like Craigslist and OfferUp.

As a result of his guilty plea, Weiss was fined $5,000 and ordered to surrender all remaining contraband.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez emphasized the importance of prosecuting such cases to combat the illegal wildlife trade and protect endangered species.

This article by Trinity Sparke was first published by One Green Planet on 4 May 2024. Image Credit :sunsetman/Shutterstock.

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