Ivory sales result in federal guilty plea in Virginia

Virginia News

FILE- A Savanna elephant is photographed in Kruger National Park, South Africa, in this March 4, 2020 file photo. Increasing threats of poaching and loss of habitat have made Africa’s elephant populations more endangered, according to a report released Thursday March 25, 2021, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to illegally selling ivory ornaments made from elephant tusks.

Sixty-year-old Gary Cooper of Fredericksburg pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully selling endangered species.

According to court records, Cooper sold seven pieces of ivory worth more than $3,000 to multiple undercover agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a 16-month period beginning in September 2018. The plea agreement requires Cooper to forfeit more than 130 pieces of raw and carved ivory.

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