A Canadian national, Ka Yeung Marvin Chan, has been sentenced to a term of 14 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle reptiles from the United States to Asia.
The Daily Crucible learnt that Chan is the last of three defendants sentenced for their roles in this reptile trafficking scheme, according to court documents and information in the public record.
He was sentenced on Tuesday.
Chan and another conspirator, Daisuke Miyauchi, were said to have owned and operated businesses overseas and engaged in the sale of reptiles. Both men periodically traveled to the United States to purchase, among other things, ball pythons, blood pythons, common tegus, Argentine tegus and iguanas, which are protected by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
According to Department of Justice (DoJ), Chan and Miyachi then worked with co-conspirator Chun Ku to smuggle the reptiles out of the country using Ku’s Master File CITES permit and fraudulent export paperwork. CITES regulates trade in endangered or threatened species through permit requirements.
Over a seven-year period, the conspirators collectively engaged in at least 107 separate criminal acts, smuggling to Asia a total of 8,738 CITES II protected animals with a retail market value in excess of $5.13 million. In addition to the CITES II species, the fraudulent shipments contained 61,622 non-CITES animals, many of which were also smuggled.
Chan and his co-conspirators each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to falsely label wildlife being exported from the United States and to smuggle goods and merchandise out of the United States as well as submitting false records and false identification of wildlife intended to be exported.
On Nov. 18, 2022, Ku was sentenced to concurrent terms of one year and one day imprisonment, two years’ supervised release and a $20,000 fine. On Feb. 22, 2022, Miyauchi was sentenced to concurrent terms of 13 months in prison.