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Smuggler Caught Shipping tarantulas in LA

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


    PAUL BOLLINGER Arachnopeon


    its easy to get emotional when the freedoms of a person are being stripped away. This is not justice... I agree the crime doesnt fit the punishment(or maximum potential punishment)

    I'm not holier than thou... Ive been burdened by the consequences of my actions/decisions for my entire life... Acknowledge it or not, but you have too... thats why I have respect/fear for/of the amount of power possessed by the Gov't. Put me in prision for a year.... I'd rather death... Thats why it isnt a joke, thats why I wont play around with such circumstances...

    Trade my freedom for the quick sale of some bugs... Sorry. I hope Sven beats this and the end result is soley that folks considering similar decisions reconsider.

    I hope there were some corners cut on the side of LEO's so this whole case can be thrown out and the ridiculous nature exposed without such grave consequences on the lives of Sven his family and his friends...

    Nada mas,
  2. Le Wasp

    Le Wasp Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Is anyone else angry enough about this whole thing to try to change the system? If the system is bad (most of the comments seem to agree on this), then we should try to change it.

    It looks like this is a classic "letter of the law" vs. "intent of the law" argument.
    Intent of the law: Sure, the CITES laws are put in place for great reasons: to protect endangered species from being taken from their country of origin.
    Letter of the law interpretation: some guy bred his own slings and is getting imprisoned.

    Obviously, the laws aren't written well enough if this is happening. There should be a revision to allow for an exception when offspring of the CITES animal are legally captive bred outside of their country of origin. At least there should be a reduction in penalties when this is the case. Captive breeding outside their country actually HELPS protect endangered species. The laws should be revised to reflect this.

    Does anyone here know enough about the legal system to start a petition to ammend the current laws? Our hobby is fairly large and it shouldn't be difficult to get enough signatures.
  3. curiousme

    curiousme Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Post # 52 in this thread

    We here on this forum(and other places) have been trying to get the USPS to change the shipping rules via those channels. Nothing has happened as of yet.

    I don't have much hope for changing this problem via petition, when it involves CITES and international policy as well.
  4. I just read this and I am properly gutted for Sven. I have had about 20 spiders from him and they were perfect. I really hope nothing to bad happens from this. My thoughts go out to him and his family :(
  5. I would venture to say that 95%+ of AB traders/purchasers have used USPS to ship their T's, Pedes, & Scorps @ one point @least - something to think about :cool:
    And Most dealers have Brown-Boxed @ somepoint, or received a shipment, from some mail-carrier that was unaware of what was in the packages.
    My local carriers, and the postal annex Mgr. know what contents I regularly ship/receive USPS ;) I am aware of the shipping laws, and I am sure this guy was as well. I highly doubt that he will go to Prison though. Especially if he has a clean past record.
    I hope the Tarantulas find suitable homes when All said/done.

    Yummy Food 4 Thought - :} - Jason
  6. Le Wasp

    Le Wasp Arachnoknight Old Timer

    "Many falconers were upset at the tactics used during the investigation and felt that the sting inappropriately targeted bystanders rather than professional long term smugglers."
    You're absolutely right, history does repeat itself. The authorities seem to like going after easy prey. The good guys ("bystanders") don't conceal their actions and are easy to catch. Even though they're small fry compared to the actual bad guys (poachers, smugglers), these guys will remain underground and keep out of trouble. Catching the real problem is too much work, and the feds just aren't smart enough to find them. It's much easier to catch casual hobbyists and tell the public you've solved the problem.

    Result: a well intended law goes into place, but only decent people who slip up are snared. The real poachers know how to get around it and wildlife keeps getting removed.
  7. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Thats completely not true.What makes you think that??
  8. John Kanker

    John Kanker Arachnosquire

    has he really? what about? best tarantula postage techniques and how to get away with it?:}
  9. JamieC

    JamieC Arachnopeon

    That was a little uncalled for. This is no laughing matter. A man is facing a huge fine and possible jail sentence for offering his services to the hobby we all love.

    Everyone in this hobby today has benefitted from Sven's input, even if they haven't dealt with him directly.

    We should all show our support and hope for the best. :)
  10. John Kanker

    John Kanker Arachnosquire

    Oh please. The bloke took some illegal short cuts to make himself some cash and got caught. So the guy is a nice bloke, but no not everyone in the hobby has to be thankful to him either, as he is not the be all and end all of this hobby.
    He knew damm well what he was doing so only has himself to blame for what has happened. I have nothing againts the bloke but I also find it rather amusing that someone could be going to jail and have a big fine all because of some spiders.
    offering his services to the hobby....lol yes they come at a price though don't they.
    If he had done his dealings all above board he wouldn't have this problem now would he, so no I do not feel sorry for him at all as he knew what he was doing and his only real regret will be that he got caught doing it. what the saying? if you can't do the time don't do the crime.
  11. JamieC

    JamieC Arachnopeon

    I don't know where your from, but in the UK sending spiders in the mail is against the rules of the Post Office and you can be prosecuted for doing so.

    Have I recieved spiders in the post? Yes I have.
    Have I sent spiders in the post? Yes I have.
    Will I do either of these things again? Yes I will.

    I would say that 95% of tarantula keepers have done at least one of the above. Don't be hypocritical.

    Yes, Sven did the above to the extreme. But if the said $300,000 is his lifes earnings in this hobby, he hardly did it for the money.
  12. baldpoodle

    baldpoodle Arachnopeon

    I wish I had earned that much from selling spiders
  13. JamieC

    JamieC Arachnopeon

    Yes, me too. But Sven is 37. Having only been in this hobby for just over a year, I don't know how long Sven has been around. From what I gather, he has been in this hobby for years. 10 years, 15? I don't know. Did he have a full time job? I don't know. My thoughts are that this was his life, his full time occupation. (I may be wrong)

    If that is the case, $300,000 (£190,000) is a standard earning.
  14. KenTheBugGuy

    KenTheBugGuy Arachnodemon


    I agree i don't think this guy was getting rich off of shipping overseas through the mail. I doubt he was making much more than a normal salary if even that. News likes to blow up certain aspects to make it more sensational.

    I think we can all get from this that there are possible ramifications for many things we do in the hobby. We should also come together and figure out how we can fight some of the laws in place to make a better way for us all in the future. I would love it if we could us USPS to ship tarantulas here in the US and even more accross the world.
  15. John Kanker

    John Kanker Arachnosquire

    but it is not just about sending them in the post is it. For sending spiders to the US from another country you need to have the proper import/export documentation, proper packing standerds and because there were CITES listed species you need the proper documentation for this also. To get all this takes a little time and does cost a little money (which would I expect be paid for buy the buyer) but it is not an imposible thing to arange as proven but the countless people who go through this process when they exports animals to the US. Why in the hell should it be different for a tarantula seller? what makes Swen so special that he does not need to do this?...oh yes hes a nice guy right.
    so many complain about how little protection spiders get but when action is taken in regards to CITES listed spiders there is outcry as to how bad this is. So what they are captive bred, how the hell do people expect CITES to work at all, if captive bred CITES species are not documented as well.
    I would say that $300,000 is one hell of alot of money to earn on the side in a hobby. This is NOT his full time job. And yes I would say he sent the for the money he was hoping to make from the sale otherwise he probably wouldn't send them.
    And I am not being hypocritical either as I am not saying what a bad bloke he is for doing what he did. I am just saying that it is all his own fault so tough. And I also find it rather amusing.
  16. JamieC

    JamieC Arachnopeon

    I'm not going to clutter this thread with a to and fro argument with you on this. I've said my piece. So this will be my last post on the matter. :)

    The punishment does NOT fit the crime. :shame:

    Yes, with the correct paperwork this could have been avoided. I don't deny that.

    Do you have proof that this was not Sven's full time occupation? Or did you pull that fact from your rear end? :rolleyes:

    On another note, do you honestly believe the paper's version of this whole thing? Rather than make a quick judgement, why not wait until it all unfolds and we have the actual facts.

  17. John Kanker

    John Kanker Arachnosquire

    never said the punishment did fit the crime but if you knowingly break the law and get caught doing it you can not expect to be let off just because they were spiders can you.
    No I do not have proof but because I know Swen I also know it is not his full time job now maybe you would like to put your head back up your rear end where it is off better use.;)

    well for starters I am not reading the papers version but it more or less says the same as what is say on the press release on The United States Attorney's Office Central District of California website:-
    but Im sorry not sure that this would even have made the news if he had the paper work.:rolleyes:
  18. baldpoodle

    baldpoodle Arachnopeon

    I hope for Svens sake that he is not a muslim.If he is they will send the poor sod to Guantanamo bay and they will water board the information and confession out of him.
  19. tom

    tom Arachnosquire Old Timer


    Mail from Long Island having been sent and checked by UPS for spiders, thetarantulas were
    conficated from a recent shipment and brought to an nearby museum for temporary care until case is settled. spiders will be well cared for that I am
    assured by a colleague. please be careful use Fedex or DHL !! Avoid UPS for
    spiders! cheers tom
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