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Idaho aquarium employees plead guilty in Florida marine life scheme

By Shane Graber - Posted Sep 30, 2013 11:00 AM
The guilty pleas were entered this past Wednesday in a Florida courtroom. Do you feel they got off easy or was the punishment appropriate?
Idaho aquarium employees plead guilty in Florida marine life scheme

Covino and Conk pleaded guilty this past Wednesday to conspiring to illegally transport spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks from the Florida Keys to Boise, Idaho.

In February of this year, we reported on Idaho Aquarium Director and Owner Ammon Covino and Aquarium Director Christopher Conk.  They were then accused of illegally purchasing federally protected Florida sharks and rays worth $6,300.

This past Wednesday, both men pleaded guilty to the charges "to illegally transport spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks from the Florida Keys to Boise, Idaho."  The pleas were entered in federal District Court in Key West according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Under the plea agreement, the Idaho Aquarium must pay a $10,000 fine, be placed under probation, and make a $50,000 "donation" to the National Fish and Wildlife Association.

What do you think:  Do you feel they got off easy or was the punishment appropriate?

(via WFTV, NBC 6 South Florida)

Author: Shane Graber
Location: Indiana

Shane has kept saltwater tanks for the last 12 years, is a research scientist, lives in northern Indiana, and is a proud Advanced Aquarist staffer.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/.

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