Attorney General Ferguson secures criminal conviction for illegal ivory trafficking

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Illegal ivory photo courtesy State of WA
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that a King County antique business and one of its owners pleaded guilty to trafficking in species threatened with extinction under a voter-approved initiative banning the sale or transfer of products made from certain endangered species.

Following an investigation, state and federal Fish and Wildlife officers executed a search warrant on Ming’s Asian Gallery and Antiques, then located in Redmond. 

They found more than 100 items suspected of containing endangered animal species. Investigators sent a sample of eight of these suspect items to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s forensic laboratory for genetic testing. 

Illegal ivory photo courtesy State of Washington
Testing confirmed that six of the eight were illegal to sell or trade — five of the items were made out of elephant ivory, and one was made of sea turtle shell. 

Investigators also seized sales records and documents from the business, which included information regarding the Washington Animal Trafficking Act — evidence that the defendants were aware of the law’s restrictions on selling prohibited items.


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