A Virginia man, Stanlee Fazi, has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking eastern box turtles from the wild and selling them to buyers in several states via Facebook Marketplace.
Fazi earned around $12,700 by binding the turtles in socks and shipping them through FedEx. The turtles were then smuggled to Hong Kong and China for the illegal pet trade. The maximum sentence for violating the Lacey Act, the US’s oldest wildlife trafficking law, is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The eastern box turtle is native to forested regions of the eastern United States, including Virginia, and can live over 100 years.