(NEW YORK) — An illegal shark trafficker was caught in the jaws of law enforcement this week.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office, inconjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation, announced it arrested Joshua Seguine on possession of seven sharks wih the intent to sell.
The sharks, all sandbar sharks, are a protected species under New York law, according to the attorney general.
Sandbar sharks cost about $11,500 to acquire legally, the attorney general’s office said in a release.
The 38-year-old from LaGrangeville, New York, just outside Poughkeepsie, was officially charged with Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Wildlife.
“Harboring and selling protected species for one’s personal financial gain is not only illegal, it’s immoral. I applaud the work of DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, and Division of Marine Resources for the investigation that brought these crimes to light and the work of the Attorney General’s office that is bringing this individual to justice,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
Seguine has been on DEC’s radar for years, according to the attorney general’s office.
He was stopped by authorities in July 2017, when five sharks were found in a tank in the back of his truck. He admitted he was selling the animals to DEC officials.
Seguine was allegedly selling the sharks on MonsterFishKeepers.com, a forum for large and rare fish. The site’s marketplace does have a section outlining fish banned for sale in different states.
The DEC obtained a search warrant in 2017 and found the sharks in an 18-foot pool at his home. Officials also found a number of dead sharks, including two dead leopard sharks and a dead hammerhead shark.
Though the sharks were discovered almost two years ago, Seguine wasn’t arraigned until Tuesday. His next court date is April 16.
The seven sandbar sharks are currently being taken care of at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.