Wildlife traffickers in Oregon sentenced to help researchers study wildlife crime
The western U.S. state is pioneering the program to help offenders understand and make amends for their offenses.
It was exactly 16 minutes into the Zoom meeting before the topic of Yuan Xie’s parole officer came up.
Xie, a convicted turtle trafficker, shifted in his seat.
“I don’t know how often we’re supposed to check in with your parole officer, but I think we should be able to show we’re making good progress,” wildlife crime expert Meredith Gore told Xie, who’s collaborating with her on a research project studying the illegal wildlife trade online.
They’d been meeting weekly to discuss the posts Xie had seen on Facebook and elsewhere advertising prohibited wildlife for sale. Much of today’s conversation was about listings for the sale of protected turtles, such as the hundreds Xie had conspired to smuggle to China