Orangutan skull, tiger skull, jaguar skin
Orangutan skull, tiger skull, jaguar skin

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An orangutan skull allegedly smuggled into the country. (US Attorney General’s Office photo)

A Reading man has been charged with trafficking in wildlife parts from endangered and protected species, including orangutan skulls, tiger skulls and jaguar pelts.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts, more than 100 wildlife parts were seized from the home of 39-year-old Adam Bied.

He is charged with two counts of conspiracy to smuggle goods into the United States, specifically illegally imported wildlife parts. Bied is also charged with three counts of violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits the illegal trade in wildlife.

“The illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife for financial gain is a serious crime that poses a significant threat to global conservation and protection efforts,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

“Mr Bied’s alleged conduct reflects a blatant disregard for the laws in place to protect our planet’s biodiversity,” Levy added. “These laws and international treaties exist to protect endangered species from exploitation and to preserve ecological balance.”

Federal authorities also want to confiscate the hundreds of animal parts they seized from Bied’s home and a storage unit.

“This confiscation action sends a clear message: we will not only prosecute those involved in the illegal wildlife trade, but will also take legal action to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains,” Levy said.

Bied is alleged to have bought, sold and traded wildlife parts and products, knowing that many of these transactions violated U.S. laws and regulations. He is alleged to have knowingly failed to declare the wildlife when it was imported into the United States.

He is said to have placed orders with people in Cameroon and Indonesia who were involved in the business of killing and acquiring wild animals – which he then resold or traded to customers in the United States.

Bied did not have an import/export license from the US Fish and Wildlife Service or the necessary permits, the government statement said.

Read more in the Boston Herald

By Aurora