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International | U.S. | Animal Liberation

Rhino poacher indictment & plea illustrates real scheme trafficing endangered species
by semp
Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 2:00 PM
In February of 2012, Jarrod Wade Steffen, his mom and new wife all got caught with a large amount of cash at the Long Beach, CA airport after selling rhino horns in Orange County to Mr. Kha. The family had been monitored by U.S. Fish & Wildlife agents. Steffen's mother and wife appeared to know exactly what was going on, but for some reason the Feds choose not to prosecute. Steffen pled guilty and agreed to surrender his trucks, horse trailers and the $337,000 in cash that was seized at the Long Beach, CA airport arrest.

Professional steer wrestler from Hico, Texas, Jarrod Wade Steffen born on 4/16/1979 in McHenry, Illinois, transported sold and acquired Black rhinoceros horns from August 2011 through February 2012 along with several other defendants of Vietnamese decent, but US Citizens. Steffen collaborated with Jimmy Kha of Garden, California for the sale of the horns.

In February of 2012, Jarrod Wade Steffen, his mom and new wife all got caught with a large amount of cash at the Long Beach, CA airport after selling rhino horns in Orange County to Mr. Kha. The family had been monitored by U.S. Fish & Wildlife agents. Steffen's mother and wife appeared to know exactly what was going on, but for some reason the Feds choose not to prosecute. Steffen pled guilty and agreed to surrender his trucks, horse trailers and the $337,000 in cash that was seized at the Long Beach, CA airport arrest. According to court documents, Steffen also agreed to forfeit his assets from his safe deposit box in McHenry, Illinois. Steffen agreed to cooperate with catching other poachers according to his plea bargain.

The poaching busts included a New York antiques dealer, Dave Hausman. Hausman received a 6-month sentence in early February, 2013. Steffen's sentencing has been post-poned until later in 2013 after his cooperation with other arresting other poachers is finished.

In 2012, a total of 668 rhinos were poached. 2013 has already seen over 148 rhinos poached. According to Rhino Wars, on Animal Planet TV, its estimated every 18 hours a rhino is killed for its horn. The markets for endangered species parts are increasing as the middle class grows around the world.

According to the AP in November of 2012, then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the burgeoning poaching industry. “We all, unfortunately, contribute to the continued demand for illegal animal goods. Wildlife might be targeted and killed across Asia and Africa, but their furs, tusks, bones, and horns are sold all over the world,” Clinton stressed. The United States was now the second largest destination for smuggled animal goods, she said, adding “that is something we are going to address.”

It will be interesting to see what the US Attorney and the judge work out for the sentencing of Steffen and whether he receives any jail time.
§Steffen's plea bargain
by semp Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 2:00 PM

Plea Agreement for Defendant Jarrod Wade Steffen file on 05/03/12