Worcester

Worcester Man Sentenced for Smuggling Wildlife

Nathan Boss, 27 of Worcester, admitted to smuggling salamanders that can carry fungal disease and endangered turtles into the country

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A Worcester man who smuggled wild animals in and out of the country will serve five months of home confinement and two years of supervised release.

Nathan Boss, 27, pleaded guilty in June to smuggling salamanders that can carry fungal disease and endangered turtles into the country as well as sending undeclared wildlife to Hong Kong and Sweden.  

Boss initially lied to federal investigators in 2017 about illegal wildlife coming into the United States, but investigators later intercepted a package through the U.S. Postal Service from Hong Kong that was addressed to “Shelton Boss” at an address on Mildred Avenue in Worcester.

The package was found to contain four black-breasted leaf turtles, a species included in the Convention for Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna, an international agreement joined by the U.S. that governs the importation of designated wildlife. The agreement mandates that any black-breasted leaf turtle imported into the country be declared and approved by Fish and Wildlife Service before any shipment can be received. 

Boss was also found to have illegally imported a species of salamander which can carry a fungal disease and is prohibited from being brought into the U.S. Investigators also found that Boss illegally exported undeclared wildlife to locations in Hong Kong and Sweden on multiple occasions.  

Boss pleaded guilty in June to two counts of smuggling wildlife into the U.S., two counts of smuggling wildlife out of the U.S. and one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.

As part of his sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman imposed special conditions that bar him from possessing any wildlife. He must also complete a community service project.

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