California guy convicted in Las Vegas of offering rhino horns

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017|5:45 p.m.

. A Northern California male who offered black rhinoceros horns to undercover agents in a Las Vegas hotel room was convicted of the crime, inning accordance with the office of the U.S. lawyer for the district of Nevada.

Edward Levine, 64, of Novato, Calif., was founded guilty on Thursday of conspiracy to break the Lacey and Endangered Types acts and breaching the Lacey Act prohibiting trade in illegally gotten wildlife, fish and plants, according to officials.

On January 2014, Levine and San Francisco art dealership Lumsden Quan started engaging with a federal representatives– through e-mail and phone call– who had revealed interest in purchasing the prohibited horns, documents show. The men informed the representatives that they were intermediates for a third guy who owned the horns.

The settlements on the purchase rate and location continued till March 2014, when Quan and Levine satisfied an agent in a south valley hotel space. The set were arrested as they went out of the room after exchanging the product for $55,000.

Considering that 1976, the black rhinoceros, a threatened species, is secured under federal and worldwide law, and the trade of its horns is illegal.

The horns, which are made up of keratin, are traded in the black market and are utilized in some cultures for decorative carvings, good-luck beauties. Other cultures think the horns have medical value, according to court files.

Levine’s partner, Quan, pleaded guilty in 2015 was sentenced to a year in jail on the exact same counts and purchased to pay a $10,200 fine, inning accordance with court files.

Levine faces up to five years at sentencing Dec. 15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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