Feds: NJ Man Shipped Live Iguanas as “Toys,” Now Faces $250,000 Fine
A New Jersey man has admitted to falsely labeling a package containing nearly a dozen live iguanas that were being shipped to Hong Kong as "toys" and now faces a long prison sentence and a hefty fine.
Acting U.S Attorney Rachael Honig says 44-year-old Jason Ksepka of Farmingdale, Monmouth County, has pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Lacey Act by falsely labeling an international shipment of wildlife.
Authorities say in November 2017,
...Ksepka shipped a package via U.S. Priority Mail Express from the U.S. Post Office in Lambertville, New Jersey. The package contained 10 live rhinoceros iguanas and was destined for Hong Kong. Defendant Ksepka falsely described the contents of the package as “Toys” and the sender as “Luke Jacobs” on a U.S. Postal Service International Shipping Label and Customs Form that accompanied the package.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors examined the package at JFK International Airport and found the iguanas inside.
Honig's office says Ksepka was paid $500 by a person to falsely label the package and ship it to Hong Kong.
As part of his plea agreement, Ksepka has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lacey Act Reward Fund.
The charge of violating the Lacey Act could land Ksepka behind bars for up to five years and he could have to pay a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 25th.