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Smuggler Caught Shipping tarantulas in LA

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by KenTheBugGuy, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Martin H.

    Martin H. Arachnoangel Old Timer


    Does anybody know, who this guy is?

    There are rumors in Germany, that the US guy got all the confiscated tarantulas back and is selling them now. Does anybody know, if this is true or just a "nice" story?

    all the best,
  2. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    THANK YOU! Absolutely wonderful post of information. I do believe I'm going to put this on a notepad so I'll have it handy for anybody who wants to know...this is priceless information to have for ANYBODY who's looking to import, export and deal in Tarantulas in general.

    Unfortunately I don't know for sure...but I'd be hard pressed to believe they gave up the evidence in question in this case.
  3. Anastasia

    Anastasia Arachnoprince Old Timer

    You got to be kidding!, you mean the German guy who bit the hook and send the spiders sitting in jail
    and the US guy who got the spiders making money off of it??!, something wrong with this picture
    I wonder who is the dirty rat...........
  4. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    It's unknown to me whether this is true or not...but I really doubt it is. The US Government is pretty notorious for hanging onto evidence of any kind...even if it's say a candy wrapper. The only way I could see them giving them up would be to someone to have them rehomed, not the person who made the purchase...and last I checked I believe they said the buyer was the a government official, not a third party. They spent about 3 years getting transcripts from what I understand from the articles, but they seem to vary where I've read them.
  5. Since Mr. Huber is possibly the only one in this thread who knows Sven personally, perhaps he can tell us if he is still under arrest or out on bail?

    Sven has a lot of people rooting for him here, and it would be good to have fresh news...
  6. Ken-very good points my friend

    I agree with all you have said. I wish he would not have broken the law. He has given an extremely bad example to all other breeders/dealers/keepers/hobbyist across the globe and a bad name as well as started if not helped an already set in bad reputation. You will directly be impacted by this mans decisions, I hope it doesn't bring large levels of negativity or scrutiny by anyone in this hobby or you being a dealer/breeder.
    Thank you for being legit in every way, your superb treatment with your work and your customers show, I hope it stays that way.

    Personally, you will always get a piece of my business until I leave this hobby or the day I die.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  7. Martin H.

    Martin H. Arachnoangel Old Timer


    it's just a rumor here in Germany. Don't know if it's true or just a "nice story". Wouldn't be surprised if it is just the latter.

    not really. Have seen him on several terraristik and spider fares where he sold his offsprings, had some small talks with him (but not deep discussions) and bought once or twices spiders from him. - wouldn't consider this that I know him personally.

    What I have heard he is allegedly on bail and living at some relatives in the US.

    all the best,
  8. I've not read of such a timescale, nor read many articles other than newspaper reports and the information provided by the USDOA. Could you enlighten me please?

    That is correct, he was released on bail but his passport has been retained so he is not at will to leave the US. He has family in the US, which I believe he was intending to visit on his flight from Germany.
    One piece of good news, he got engaged to his girlfriend whilst in the US.
  9. fatich

    fatich Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Sven is not in jail anymore, he is out.
  10. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    If I can find it, I have a bad habit of running down the list of articles on Google or others sent by friends in order to try and pick apart the News from the sensationalism. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it just leaves me more confused LOL.
  11. pocock1899

    pocock1899 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    The spiders are in zoos and other institutions, being held (live) as evidence. It's unlikely they'll ever be offered to the public for sale. Even after the case, they'll be government property and probably be donated to institutions (likely the ones that are currently holding them if they are interested).

    This was the result of a nine month investigation (like it said in the press release). That's amazingly short in contrast to some investigations. People I know in USFWS said it was started when the spiders were found in a shipment. That's why there was no worry for them that he could claim entrapment. The crime had been committed before they even got involved.

    I also wonder what has happened to the folks who ordered them. Since they have not been mentioned in the news, it's likely they are still part of the case in some way. When the case is closed (assuming Sven pleads to a deal), all that will probably be released. Otherwise, since it's part of the public record, anyone in the US can ask for a copy of the records under the Freedom of Information Act (although asking and receiving are two different things).
  12. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    Only 9 months? If that's the true number then I'm amazed, our government never does things that fast LOL.

    As it comes to the people who ordered them I really doubt they'll be implicated unless they were also more than chump change dealers. Although it's imperative for us as consumers to also know the laws of the trade it's usually a silent understanding that a great deal of people don't just like any sort've comprehensive law. Because of this and the lack of interest in people who pose little risk as consumers I really doubt much, if anything will be done.

    It's sort've sad because I've heard of a few people brownbagging spiders USPS style and just getting a slap on the wrist, but if they had enough law enforcement to police us all this conversation wouldn't be happening to begin with.
  13. thebugwife

    thebugwife Arachnopeon

    Just Curious

    Just a Curious pocock1899, What do you do in "Wildlife and International Law"?

    Always looking for good resources!
  14. Martin H.

    Martin H. Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Does anybody know, what's the concrete accusal?
  15. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    Does anybody know if he's still facing anything? A friend of mine recently had his T's temporarily confiscated by the Department of Agriculture to examine before sending them back to where he could pick them up, and when he asked about the situation he said their response was "We're examining all packages containing "bugs" we find due to recent incidents."

    I have a bad feeling this is only the beginning...
  16. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    But do you have any idea what kind've sentencing will be awarded? I mean I'm pretty upset over the kind of damage this has probably caused to A: the possibility of the petition for USPS to allow shipping and B: the possibilities of more restrictive licensing and such...but with all that aside 20 years is pretty stiff for this.

    Still makes you wonder though why this was worth avoiding the few hundred dollars in fees, eh?
  17. How would I know that! he's only just pleaded guilty.
    There's a process that needs to run here.

    The UPS petition can hardly be damaged when it was never considered before this event.
    More restrictive licensing, as in what? The transporting of such livestock is already catered by CITES and the Lacey Act.
    I actually lean toward the reverse tbh, this episode highlights the failings of an act when dealing with captive bred species bred outside the country of origin.

    Sven has been instrumental in Europe for producing captive bred stock. Whether new laws are passed or not without the likes of Sven feeding the demand for a growing hobby one wonders who or what will feed that demand now.
  18. MrDusty

    MrDusty Arachnopeon

    On the contrary...the petition has been in place far before this, and this gives the powers at hand an excuse to reject the idea regardless how much backing it gets, much like restrictions on gun laws whenever some micreant decides to misbehave.

    I do agree that the problems with CITES restrictions and such are pretty evident...I never once suspected that Sven had smuggled the Brachypelmas, just that he's potentially caused the entire hobby great deal of trouble for us all in terms of transporting Arachnids due to flagrantly disregarding licensing and proper procedure.

    My biggest concern lies in exactly how transporting these creatures is going to be done since FedEx expressed to my friend that they've got a policy against live animals, USPS states it's illegal...so forth. Many people send their T's through USPS or other sources anyhow, but after my friend's recent situation with the Department of Agriculture it's painfully obvious that there has already been an impact.

    I think 20 years is a rather stiff penalty, but I don't believe Sven is the only person who is capable of providing captive bred stock, nor that he should go unpunished for this. I know a lot of people admire what he's done, and that he's probably done a great deal in terms of increasing the captive bred stocks of T's we all want to own, but this doesn't mean he's above the law or that this isn't detrimental.

    The major point is that we need people who will both supply captive breds for the demands of the hobby AND follow the laws so that we don't all suffer for it. Plain and simple.
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