A Franklinville man has admitted to transporting elephant tusks from Canada to the United States, violating that Endangered Species Act.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul announced Wednesday that 77-year-old Ferdinand E. Krizan pleaded guilty to trafficking in prohibited wildlife.
The attorney handling the case stated Krizan, owner of Fred's Antiques in Franklinville, purchased two elephant tusks in November of 2013 from an auction house in Montreal, Quebec for $4,320 Canadian dollars. Krizan then had the tusks shipped to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Later that same month, prosecutors say Krizan transported the tusks form Niagara Falls, Ontario into the United State through the Rainbow Bridge.
Then in May of 2014, U.S. attorney's state Krizan sold the tusks, along with four additional tusks to a buyer in Massachusetts for $50,000 American dollars. Prosecutors say Krizan knew the tusks had been improperly transported into the United States, and at no time did he apply for or receive a permit under the Endangered Species Act authorizing the importation, delivery, receipt, transportation, or sale of elephant ivory.
The investigation also determined that the defendant illegally trafficked in other protected wildlife, including:
- a Narwhal tusk, which he sold for $8,000 American dollars in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
- two elephant tusks, which he sold for $66,000 American dollars
- a carved elephant ivory art object, which he purchased for $1,020 Canadian dollars
- one elephant tusk, which he purchased for $3,130.68 Canadian dollars
- one hippo ivory carving, which he sold for $1,400 American dollars
- one elephant ivory musician carving, which he sold for $2,525 American dollars
- one bronze and elephant ivory sosoon figurine, which he sold for $3,700 American dollars
- one elephant ivory trip-tix, which he sold for $2,700 Canadian dollars
- one carved coral figurine, which he sold for $3,400 American dollars
The total value of all of the items is $141,877. As part of the plea, Krizan will also abandon approximately 100 pieces elephant ivory carvings.
He will be sentenced May 19.
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