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Smuggler Caught Shipping tarantulas in LA

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

  1. John Kanker

    John Kanker Arachnosquire

    Did I not say it is very unlikely that would happen? I said I imagined that would be one of the reasons put forward by the post as to why they are not allowed.:rolleyes:

    Im not trying to conviced hobbyists of anything.

    no it wouldn't collapse at all. it would be undoubtably a little more tricky but it would not collapse.

    What do you think I feel so strongly about? And I have never said that I support this hobby to any great extent.

    maybe you should reread and reread again also.:)
  2. Falk

    Falk Arachnodemon

    This hobby wouldnt be so "big" if it wherent for the post shipping of spiders. Its a lot easier for me living in Sweden to order a T. sp "burgundy" for 35 euros+10 euro shipping than to drive all the way from the northern sweden to the middle of Germany just to buy it.
  3. I have asked them, or it was mentioned :cool: {Research} Some do it almost SOLELY - their risk.

    How do you think many un-available species/specimens make it to this continent - Boat :p
    Just because offspring of some species are c.b. were the Parent T's legaly w.c. on ALL instances ?
    Where does cocaine come from :? Southern Cali ? {D {Supply & Demand}

    Not everything has been w/ paperwork over-the-years.....We'll agree-2-disagree on that C.Allen.

    The USPS "issue", I also find quite hillariously hypocritical {D

    I am Not ashamed to say that I regularly use USPS Priority & Express 2 ship my Arachnids ;P Guess I ma Rebel :razz: So be it ;)
  4. Kathy

    Kathy Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I pretty much skimmed through these posts to try and grasp a better understanding. Could someone just simply tell me - was he arrested for shipping spiders, or was he arrested for shipping spiders without proper documentation? To me there is a big difference between the two and what the penalties could be. Or, am I understanding that some of the spiders he shipped are not allowed to be sent to another country - so he broke that law along with not filling out the paperwork? I highly doubt he will face any major penalty, he will end up taking some kind of plea deal in the long run.
  5. jebbewocky

    jebbewocky Arachnoangel

    He was arrested for shipping tarantulas across national borders, without proper documentation is what I got from it.

    EDIT: My opinion? This was preventable, and this makes the hobby look bad. Yes, many T's in the hobby now were probably smuggled. Ok. It's not like we can go back and "unsmuggle "them.
  6. Anastasia

    Anastasia Arachnoprince Old Timer

    here is the link
    I really hope he get out of it with minimum damages and no jail time
    But That should be lesson for everyone to learn
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Thanks Anastasia. One count of smuggling - I don't think he will do much time if any, I really don't. He does sound like a good man and I'm sure his reputation will work highly in his favor.
  8. elvasco

    elvasco Arachnopeon

    I think this is a pretty tough subject. I think that what he did was without a doubt wrong but I also think the punishment is absurd (now one thing I will say is that if he was smuggling in something like a phoneutria or any animal with a record of death(s) related to it I would tell him to rot. I'm not trying to switch the subject here, just my opinion so I digress. I only mention it because if that comes outi will change my mind). The problem is a lot of things her (I'm an American) are punished unfairly. I will give you an example: in my opinion DUI's are punished way too harshly (non death related - put that in the smuggling of dangerous animals category - and for everything speeding etc.) studies have shown that texting while driving is just as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk (depending on how drunk the person is of course). Yet DUI fines are like $2000 and mandatory jail where as texting while driving is like $125 fine - not even a court appearance. My analogy is this; had this guy smuggled internationally protected polar bears, even captive bred, people would have flipped and demanded his head. Since it's tarantulas and most people think (sadly :-( ) "ew gross who cares" they'll probably go light on him. Which I think is good. 20 years in prison is pretty dn harsh. But think what you and your neighbors would say if as I mentioned it were polar bears. Sorry for the rambling. Just my two cents.
  9. KenTheBugGuy

    KenTheBugGuy Arachnodemon


    It is a good point really and I too thought that people would have flipped if it was some more "accepted" animal. Good for him it is not!
  10. "I know everyone here is law abiding and never done anything wrong, like mail tarantulas through the USPS. Or has ever shipped to Florida or Canada. Not to mention a slew of smaller laws that just aren't really enforced."

    Boonbear, a little bit of a sidetrack, but I was wondering what you meant here? I know Florida has alot of laws about certain animals coming in but did you list Canada for the same reason or a different one?
    To set the record straight, just in case, spiders and scorpions are allowed to come this way with no extra paperwork. Things like millipedes and roaches aren't because of the possibility of agricultural damage.
    The two paperwork exceptions are when an order is large enough to be considered "commercial" or when the species are listed on CITES. For commercial shipments there needs to be a proper export license on the side of the seller (and duty etc. must be paid) and for CITES species, as always, captive-bred paperwork is a must.
    Any personal orders of non-CITES spiders and scorps are just fine. Once again though, they are not supposed to be posted, for the usual reasons, and because they are supposed to be declared.
    We are sort of the opposite to the states actually. To send something from the States here, it is best to have small orders. For us to send things down there, with all the hoops to jump through, it really isn't worthwhile except for rather large orders.
    Anyway, sorry for the sidetrack, but I wanted to clear that up. Um, if that is not at all what you meant, sorry! Please set me straight. :D
    As to the rest of the discussion, I am mostly interested in how things are going in the courts. I wish we had an update!
  11. Zoltan

    Zoltan Cult Leader

    Moderator Note

    Please note that we will not allow for any PayPal address, bank account number or similar to be posted. That falls under soliciting our members which we do not allow.
  12. seanbond

    seanbond Arachnoking Old Timer

    We (US) have such a great perception of focusing on the fly on the wall rather than elephant crapping on the couch-
  13. Falk

    Falk Arachnodemon

  14. Sven's a great guy and I really hope things work out for him.

    Looks like the govt is sharper at finding scarey spiders than at locating either Osama or the 'mysteriously missing' nuclear facilities in Iraq.

  15. He is Human.
    He has a family.
    He has been set up and arrested in a foreign country.
    He is facing 20 years and $250 0000.
    The US is screwing him to make an example.

    Q. Why did the US not screw a US citizen?
    A. You would be in uproar, as it could be you next. Why are the receiving parties not being arrested? Pretty effing obvious. They are accessories before and after the fact of the crime don't forget. That means they should be punished as if they committed the crime themselves. America has very strict conspiracy laws.

    Q. Why make the sting operation in the first place?
    A. As an example for the US citizens. Don't ship exotic pets, don't break Cites laws.

    Q. Does it constitute entrapment?
    A. I have seen this thrown about a few times, some say yes and some say no. There are 3 criteria for it to be entrapment.
    They are:
    1. The idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.
    ***Obviously the US Gov't initiated the purchase, he hasn't emailed them offering them spiders, otherwise i am about to feel very left out for not receiving this email. I also do not remember him ever posting "WILL SHIP TO USA" on his pricelists.***
    2. Government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.
    ***Depends on their emails/phone calls, don't know, however, do flight tickets sound like persuasion? where did they come from?***
    3. The person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.
    ***He may have been willing before, but he certainly was not ready. Consider how much effort you have to put in to get a shipment that big together. If a Police officer approached a drug dealer and said i want half an ounce of weed, if the dealer has to go to the shops, buy a baggy, and then go home to weight out half an ounce from his crops and place it in sed baggy, then return to the officer to carry out the transaction, the dealer was not ready, therefore this criteria is filled.***

    He definitely has filled 2/3 criteria for entrapment, depends on whether he gets 3/3 or not, and no one here can know that for sure.


    Now that i have made a few points there i would like to say where do you some of you people get off saying he deserves to be punished, he deserves everything he gets, etc? This isnt a smuggler, its a breeder. Shame on you.


    I am not anti american, I am half american, however, you need to be knocked off of your high horse, your country is ridiculous and this whole investigation is a farce as are the charges. How much of a punishment does wall street get from breaking the WORLD economy? Nothing, they get extra money from the US gov't, and their crime was far worse. How much time does a rapist get for a first offense?? This should be seen as bad as not filing your taxes on time. Or drink driving. Not murder.

    Thats just my opinion, argue with it if you will.
  16. Najakeeper

    Najakeeper Arachnoprince

    Anything CB should be legal in my humble opinion. Did the poor guy went to US and got arrested for this or is this just an arrest warrant for somebody that lives in Germany?

    (Apparently they tricked him into coming into the states. That`s just sad and disgusting in their part.)
  17. This is absolutely ridiculous. There is no reason for this gentleman to have to go through all of this for transporting CB slings to the US. Illegal or not, he is not a US citizen and at best should be deported to his own country and tried there not here. I am in the US Army and know individuals who have done far worse and not have to suffer through facing trials in other countries, much less confinement in a foreign country. I hope he beats it completely and returns safely home where aparently he is a well respected propagator of rare species and a boon to the European hobby. I will not try to regale you with some of my more youthful misadventures with local authorities but I, and I'm sure quite a few people here;), have on occasion took part of some other criminal offense and gotten away with it scott-free or had at best a fairly hearty slap on the hand and sent on our way. Did he knowingly commit a criminal offense? I'm quite sure of it. Does he(and the rest of us in the hobby in foresight) deserve all of this ludicrous media attention and punishment? Absolutely not. Most people here agree, even those that are condemning this guy, that these regulations need at very least to be more specific in their intentions. I recently recall a lady smuggling in a sedated tiger cub in her suitcase that did not get near the publicity. And that this apparently has gotten more attention is absolutely insane!

    @Nomad, you nailed alot of this on the head with your first post and all those great quotes, good on ya mate!

    Perhaps this is possibly in part(I'm intentionally be careful with what I say) another attempt for possible HSUS/AR activists to take another pop shot at yet another exotic pet trade? I read the articles and I think I can rightly say it has been blown considerably out of proportion and had a bit of "SPIN" thrown in. It seems probable that this would be a wonderful oppurtunity for those types to weasel their way into the invert hobby and impose, or foce more stringent regulations and ridiculous laws in this hobby as well. And if that is the case, you may as well kiss it all goodbye because if they use the same sweeping generalizations with inverts that they do with reptiles you can almost completely get rid of most of your T's, myriapods, scorpions and other inverts that could possibly be considered an introduced or nuisance species. As well as far more stringent regulations pertaining to venomous inverts, which I'm sure covers most all of them commonly kept. This is just a simple unobtrusive possibility as to why this issue is recieving so much press here. For those who think that this hobby is safe from people like that, thats what the reptile community thought 15 years ago and look at it now. And there are a bit more reptile keepers in this country than inverts enthusiasts. There always seems to be more to things like this than it would appear. And it starts out as a relatively small crack then they proceed to slowly chip away at pet owners rights until their will is thoroughly enforced upon us keepers. Read this if you doubt what I have to say about the HSUS and their intentions on owning exotic pets;

    And this is right from the proverbial horses mouth!

    Maybe that is just me being a paranoid Army guy, but atleast give it a good roll around the 'ole noggin a bit. And personally I hope the guy gets to go back home and wish him the absolute best of luck! Thanks
  18. Kathy

    Kathy Arachnoangel Old Timer

    He broke the law. He knew he could get caught. I've broken the law. I knew I could get caught. It's a gamble, he lost. He got greedy.
  19. aboznut

    aboznut Arachnopeon

    Just to liven things up...

    The charges are severe because they want a wave to go through the invert community - something like a 20+ page thread on Arachnoboards. This will deter allot of people from ever seriously even thinking of smuggling anything on the CITES list.

    Sven will probably spend allot of money and time defending himself, but he will probably never do any serious time. If I was a betting man (and I am), I'll bet Martha Stewart does more time.

    Robert - I think you jumped the thread track. Maybe start another thread called "I have an ax to grind about the US". I applaud you for living somewhere else if you don't like it here.:clap::clap::clap::clap:

    I've broken the law, I've been caught, and I've been accused of things I did not do. I am almost a law abiding US citizen. I even had a city mayor once say "I hope they throw the book at you" for something I did not do.

    When it's all said and done, if he is guilty, I'll bet the punishment will be appropriate for the crime. But I'll bet also the cost to defend himself won't be.
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