A retired Mountie accused of smuggling narwhal tusks was sentenced Wednesday to 5 years and two months in a U.S. jail for associated money-laundering counts.
Gregory Logan, 60, of Saint John, N.B., smuggled about 300 tusks valued at US$1.5 million to US$3 million into Maine in false compartments in his car, U.S. prosecutors mentioned. They had been shipped from a submit workplace field in Ellsworth, Maine, to consumers throughout the U.S.
Narwhals, protected in the USA and Canada, are identified for his or her spiral tusks that may develop longer than eight ft and are valued for his or her use in carvings and jewelry-making.
In keeping with the indictment, Logan was working as a Mountie when he started bringing narwhal tusks throughout the border into the U.S. in 2000. He retired from the police power in 2003.
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Prosecutors mentioned he requested his U.S. co-conspirators what they needed by way of dimension and amount, after which contacted “Inuit co-operatives” within the Canadian north for the tusks.
“Illegal wildlife commerce like this undermines efforts by federal, state, and international governments to guard and restore populations of species just like the narwhal, an impressive creature of the ocean,” mentioned performing Assistant Legal professional Normal Jeffrey H. Wooden of the Division of Justice’s Atmosphere and Pure Assets Division.
Logan was sentenced by U.S. District Courtroom Choose John A. Woodcock on money-laundering and conspiracy counts to which he pleaded responsible underneath an settlement during which smuggling prices had been dropped.
He has already served 4 months of residence detention and paid a $350,000 effective in Canada after pleading responsible to a associated wildlife-smuggling crime.
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Logan was charged together with two U.S. residents. Andrew Zarauskas, of Union, New Jersey, was convicted and sentenced to 33 months. Fees in opposition to a Tennessee man had been dismissed.
Prosecutors mentioned Logan was the “organizer of this enterprise.”
“He directed and arranged the best way during which the tusks had been smuggled and shipped in addition to the methods during which the proceeds would in the end be laundered into Canada. In sum, (Logan) was the ‘hub’ with out whom the ‘spokes’ couldn’t have succeeded of their joint legal enterprise,” they mentioned in courtroom paperwork.
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Logan has spent 18 months in custody in the usafter being extradited from Canada in March 2016. The extradition settlement with Canada restricted the fees to the money-laundering counts.
A press launch from the U.S. Division of Justice detailed how the scheme labored:
“Logan knew that his prospects would re-sell the tusks for a revenue and in an try to extend that re-sale value, Logan would often present fraudulent documentation claiming that the tusks had initially belonged to a non-public collector in Maine who had acquired them legally,” it mentioned.
“Along with transport the tusks from Maine, Logan maintained a submit workplace field within the Ellsworth transport retailer in addition to an account at a financial institution in Bangor. Logan instructed his prospects to ship fee within the type of cheques to the submit workplace field, or wire cash on to his Maine checking account.
“Logan then transported the cash to Canada by having the transport retailer ahead his mail to him in Canada, and by utilizing an ATM card to withdraw cash from his Maine checking account at Canadian ATM machines. At instances, Logan additionally directed his prospects to ship funds on to him in Canada.”
© 2017 The Canadian Press