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Illegal Transportation of Leopard Skins

A Tallahassee man, known on the street as Mr. Drigo, was recently indicted by a federal grand jury.

He is accused of violating the endangered species act, by buying leopard skins through the mail.

It all started at the Tallahassee Fed Ex terminal a police K-9 with a nose for drugs spotted a package, full of spots.

When police opened it, they found two leopard skins.

Fish and Wildlife officer Del Teagan was promptly called to the scene.

According to court records, a federal wildlife officer then posed as a Fed Ex deliveryman, and attempted to deliver the package to the addressee: Roderick Lorenzo Richardson Rumba Lane. Court documents show Richardson signed for the package, and was promptly arrested.

Importing, or receiving, the hide of an endangered animal is against federal law. These endangered Chinese leopards visited the Tallahassee museum last year.

Curator Mike Jones says regrettably as long as there's a market for illegal skins, people will poach and sell them. Richardson, and the man from Cameroon who's accused of mailing the leopard skins to him, both face up to 12 years in prison for buying and selling the hides of one of the world's most endangered cats.

Wildlife officers readily admit, if that K-9 named rusty hadn't sniffed out the skins at Fed-Ex, the delivery would have been made right under their nose.


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