Joshua Seguine, 38, of Lagrangeville, admitted Friday, July 12, to keeping live Sandbar sharts, a protected species, and attempting to sell them over the internet, said New York Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.
According to the felony complaint, Seguine came to the attention of DEC Law Enforcement in July of 2017, after he was found in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck.
According to authorities, Seguine admitted that he was transporting the sharks to New York, where he intended to sell them, and that he possessed additional live sharks at his house.
After this information was sent to DEC, investigators discovered that Seguine was conducting business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLC, which had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017, on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com.
DEC officers, accompanied by biologists from the Long Island Aquarium located in Riverhead, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, discovered an above-ground pool at Seguine’s house that contained seven live sharks.
The sharks were identified as Sandbar sharks, the possession of which is prohibited by New York law without a special license. The search also uncovered two dead Leopard sharks, one dead Hammerhead shark, and the rostrum (snout) of a smalltooth sawfish, an endangered species.
"Trafficking protected species is unlawful and ultimately harmful to the wildlife," said James. "My office will continue to partner with DEC and use every tool at our disposal to protect vulnerable species and hold to account those who seek to profit from their suffering."
Seguine pleaded guilty to the illegal possession with intent to sell seven sandbar shark. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12.
The sharks were moved to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, where they are on display as part of the "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" exhibit.
The cost to legally acquire a Sandbar Shark is approximately $11,500.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Mount Pleasant and receive free news updates.