Walrus case leads to indictment

    Skagway, Alaska (KINY) James Williams, 67, was indicted on charges alleging smuggling of walrus ivory and the illegal export and import of walrus ivory in violation of the Lacey Act.

    Alaska U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said Williams was named in a 10-count indictment that charged him with smuggling walrus ivory from the United States

    Under Federal law, walrus ivory cannot be exported out of the United States nor imported into the United States without a permit.

    Williams, doing business as Inside Passage Arts, illegally exported raw, unworked, walrus ivory tusks from Alaska to Indonesia for carving.  He was also accused of smuggling the carved walrus ivory back into the US disguising the illegal nature of the transportation by falsification of records.

    It is also alleged that Williams, for three years, sold the carved walrus ivory as merchandise knowing the item was unlawfully transported into the country.

    If convicted, Williams could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

    The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.


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