KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - The owner of a Michigan aquarium supply store has pleaded guilty in Florida to illegal trafficking in wildlife including tropical fish, sea fans, sharks and alligators.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 80-year-old Richard Perrin faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines at a March 25 sentencing for a wildlife trafficking conspiracy in Key West. Perrin owns the Tropicorium store in Romulus, Mich., that bills itself online as the Midwest's largest dealer in tropical and marine life.
Authorities say Perrin and a co-defendant failed to get required licenses to harvest marine life during multiple trips to the Florida Keys. They admitted in court to poaching baby alligators in the Big Cypress National Preserve for sale through their business.
One juvenile alligator was sold to an undercover federal wildlife agent.
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