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Terrance pleads guilty to smuggling endangered reptiles

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AKWESASNE - A 28-year-old Hogansburg woman pleaded guilty Friday to participating in a conspiracy in 2009 and 2010 to smuggle more than 18,000 endangered and threatened reptiles from the United States into Canada, in violation of Title 18 United States Code section 371, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Olivia Terrance was sentenced by Judge Norman A. Mordue to 18 months in jail to be followed by three years of supervised release, said Richard S. Hartunian, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.

He said Terrance smuggled turtles and reptiles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars into Canada where they were sold to retailers and collectors. She was caught when law enforcement followed her by car and helicopter after she received a shipment of wildlife and transported it by boat into Canada.

This case was investigated by special agents of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Mohawk Nation Tribal Police.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Benedict.

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