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Exotic Animal Smuggler In Worcester Sentenced For International Crimes

The black-breasted leaf turtle is an endangered species
The black-breasted leaf turtle is an endangered species Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Spengleri

A man who was illegally smuggling salamanders and turtles has been found guilty and sentenced for the crimes.

Nathan Boss, 27, of Worcester, was sentenced to two years of supervised release with the first five months to be served in home confinement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts said Monday, Oct. 5.

Boss is also not allowed to possess any wildlife and he must complete a community service project, Judge Timothy S.Hillman ruled.

In June Boss pleaded guilty to two counts of smuggling wildlife into the U.S., two counts of smuggling wildlife out of the eU.S., and making a false statement to a federal agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Law enforcement was suspicious of Boss in 2017 when he lied to federal investigators about the identity of a recipient of wildlife illegally imported into the U.S. 

During the investigation, law enforcement officials intercepted a package from Hong Kong to the U.S. and addressed to “Shelton Boss” on Mildred Avenue. Inside were four black-breasted leaf turtles - an internationally endangered species.

Boss was also found to have imported “injurious species of salamander” that carry a fungal disease, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to court documents, Boss exported the wildlife to places in Hong Kong and Sweden.

Among the agencies investigating and prosecuting Boss are the U.S. Attorney's Office, Massachusetts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife. 

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