Convicted Drug Dealer Indicted for Selling Rhino Horns
Undercover investigation nets alleged wildlife trafficker with ties to former Medellín drug cartel.
"This is Lu," the email began. "I got the giraffe from you."
This indictment is the latest in a series of cases by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Justice as part of Operation Crash, a massive, nationwide criminal investigation into U.S. involvement in the international black market for rhino horn. ("Crash" is another word for a herd of rhinoceroses).
All rhinoceros species across Africa and Asia are under siege by poachers. (Read "Rhino Wars" in National Geographic magazine.) They supply the largely Vietnamese and Chinese demand for rhino horn powder as a traditional medicine and for decorative carved horns and $100,000 libation cups.
To date Operation Crash has resulted in 17 arrests and nine convictions, for,