In Boston, Charles A. Manghis, has been charged with multiple counts of smuggling sperm whale teeth and elephant ivory, making false statements to federal agents, and conspiracy.
The 53-year-old Nantucket, Massachusetts resident, also a Ukrainian national, was arrested on Thursday. A federal grand jury indicted Manghis, along with Ukrainian national Andriy Mkhalyov, of allegedly conspiring to smuggle certain items into the United States that violated both federal law and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The two men allegedly used a middleman in California to bring the items into the United States before sending them to Massachusetts. Manghis, a scrimshaw dealer, is being accused of selling the illegal items on Nantucket and on e-Bay. His employer, Nina Hellman of Nina Hellman Antiques, says she believes the charges against Manghis are unfounded.
Nantucket Police say that that the international smuggling ring also involves countries in Asia and Europe. Manghis faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 maximum fine if he is convicted. He was released on $25,000 bond.
According to Law Enforcement US Fish and Wildlife Service Chief Benito A. Perez, about $10 million in illegal wildlife is seized in the United States every year-barely scratching the “surface of wildlife coming into this country.” The country is a prime market for elephant ivory, ivory carvings, and handicrafts made with claws, fur, feather, claws, and other body parts of species that are protected by law.
Nantucket man faces smuggling charges, Boston.com, April 25, 2008
Nantucket man charged in ivory smuggling ring, Ack.net, April 25, 2008
Testimony of Benito A. Perez Before the US House of Representatives, FWS.gov, March 5, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Charles Manghis Scrimshaw, Nina Hellman Antiques
An arrest for smuggling is a serious matter. Our Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers have dealt with smuggling and other illegal theft cases for our clients. We are known for our ability to obtain the best outcomes for our clients’ federal or state cases.
Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.