Pacifica man admits to selling taxidermied rare wildlife on Craigslist 

You know that stuffed Siberian tiger you’ve always wanted? Yes, it would really tie the room together, but you should probably resist that tempting Craigslist ad.

A Pacifica man is facing a possible federal prison sentence after admitting this week to selling endangered and protected wild animals, including a Siberian tiger, a polar bear and a black panther, on the classifieds website, according to federal prosecutors.

James Dickson, 57, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday to a felony count of illegally trading protected wildlife, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced in a press release Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Dickson was offering a menagerie of rare taxidermied wildlife for thousands of dollars. In November 2009, Dickson sold an American bald eagle to an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent for $2,200, they said.

Dickson was also illegally selling or offering to sell a polar bear for $6,500, a Kodiak bear for $14,000, a black bear for $3,800, a grizzly bear coat for $4,500, a cheetah for $900, a black panther for $4,500 and a Siberian tiger for $15,000, prosecutors said.

Asked about buying the polar bear, Dickson explained to the federal agent that it was illegal to have one in the United States, prosecutors said. He further noted that it was illegal for him to sell the black bear and eagle mounts.

Prosecutors said Dickson admitted in court that he knew it was illegal to sell the wildlife. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 12, and could face up to five years in prison and more than $250,000 in fines and restitution.

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Ari Burack

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