Shell smugglers caught in CO

Tortoise shell pickHere’s a cautionary story for those bluegrassers who prefer the tone of tortoise shell picks.

Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have indicted 10 people after a multi-year investigation for smuggling hawksbill tortoise shells as well as finished guitar picks and fiddle bows into the US from China. The hawksbill tortoise is listed as an endangered species under US law and commercial trade of such items is prohibited.

The value of the confiscated material was estimated at $8,000 and sentences may range between six and twelve months in jail and up to $20,000 in fines.

The Environmental News Service quotes the prosecutor in this case:

“Trafficking in endangered species doesn’t pay,” said Troy Eid, U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado. “We will pursue these offenders across the globe to help save sea turtles for future generations.”

Read the full ENS article online.

HT:  Fretboard Journal

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • I haver a question. What if the picks and bows were made of pre-ban shell, such as an antique shoe horn or ashtray? I’m seen allot of this kid of stuff from time to time across the south east. Just curious. I like the faux stuff myself.