LITTLE ROCK-A Conway man has been sentenced for importing and possessing illegally taken wildlife. Jackson Roe, 27, was sentenced on Monday afternoon by Chief United States District Judge D. Price Marshall, Jr., to three years probation and 150 hours of community service.
In August 2015, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service received an anonymous tip about the illegal activity of a reptile hobbyist who sold and transported various reptiles into and out of the United States. Through undercover conversations with this individual, located in China, agents learned that he was shipping rare and endangered animals to an individual named Jackson Roe. Wildlife inspectors intercepted a package addressed to Roe that contained two live Chinese giant salamanders—an endangered species, in plastic jars, with wet moss. There were no holes in the box for air and no documents in the package.
Roe admitted to investigators that he had illegally purchased several live amphibians from a Chinese dealer he met on Facebook. He stated he paid $450 for each salamander, and that he knew they were protected and expected to become extinct in the next ten years. In total, Roe received seven packages shipped from Hong Kong, which included six Chinese giant salamanders, a Vietnamese leaf turtle, an Indian roofed turtle, and a Chinese big-headed turtle. Roe also informed agents that he owned a Nile crocodile, a Morelet’s crocodile, and an American alligator, all of which were seized later that day by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward O. Walker.