KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — An Idaho aquarium and two of its workers have pleaded guilty in Florida to illegally scheming to purchase and transport marine wildlife, including sharks and rays.
Federal court records show the guilty pleas were entered Tuesday in Key West by Idaho Aquarium Inc. and two of its officers: Ammon Covino and Christopher Conk, both 40. Prosecutors say the conspiracy involved spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks that were intended for display at the aquarium.
Authorities intercepted communications in which Covino and Conk told Florida suppliers to ignore the law and make the shipments. Each faces up to five years in prison.
Under a plea agreement, the aquarium will pay a $10,000 criminal fine, be placed on probation and make a $50,000 donation to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.