COLD-BLOODED SMUGGLING: Man sentenced for bringing turtles into Canada

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CORNWALL, Ontario - A Cornwall man has been found guilty of illegally importing reptiles.

Stephen Malcolm Shillingford was convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice Feb. 10.

Court heard that Shillingford had been importing animals, mostly tortoises, into Canada from the United States in contravention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The smuggling took place between February and November, 2011.

Most of the reptiles were pre-sold to pet stores and individuals in Ontario, using various internet classifieds sites to solicit his clientele.

Shillingford received a six‑month conditional sentence (no jail time), a fine of $5,000, and was ordered to report to Environment Canada enforcement for a period of two years before importing plants and animals, for violating the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

The fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

This case represents a joint investigation with the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Shillingford was also convicted for smuggling under the Customs Act and received a six-month conditional sentence to be served concurrently.

Organizations: Ontario Court, Convention on International Trade, Environment Canada Environmental Damages Fund Canada Border Services Agency United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Geographic location: Canada, CORNWALL, Ontario United States

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