As any billionaire mayor will tell you, having dead animals on your walls really classes up the joint. If it happens to be parts of an animal that are illegal to kill, all the better. But there's good news for people who hate jerks that kill elephants: an ivory dealer who shipped his wares from Africa via JFK airport, then down to his African art store in Philadelphia has been caught. According to a release from the DOJ [pdf], authorities seized "approximately one ton of elephant ivory—one of the largest U.S. seizures of elephant ivory on record." The smuggler, 68-year-old Victor Gordon was arraigned today in Brooklyn and will be charged with 10 felonies, with a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Gordon apparently paid an accomplice to travel to Africa to buy ivory in bulk, then directed another associate to carve it into traditional figures per his instructions, then dye the ivory so it appeared old, and there would wouldn't run afoul of international treaties that prevent ivory from being harvested. "The amount of elephant ivory allegedly plundered in this case is staggering and highlights the seriousness of the charged crimes," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said in the statement. "We all have a responsibility to protect endangered species, both for their sake and for the sake of our own future generations."