Friday, July 4, 2014
MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking in the horns of the black rhinoceros in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
A federal judge is scheduled in September to sentence 76-year-old Gene Harris of Miami following his guilty plea this week. Harris could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to court records, Harris sold a variety of wildlife products, including taxidermy mounts. In 2011, he arranged for a customer in California to buy two black rhinoceros horns from a seller in Phoenix, Arizona, for $60,000.
Court documents show Harris was paid a $10,000 finder's fee.
Black rhinoceros horns are prized commodities in many Asian countries, where they are turned into ornamental carvings and other items.