Man sentenced in SF federal court for trafficking elephant ivory

A Saratoga man was sentenced Wednesday in a federal courtroom for selling elephant ivory to international buyers via the internet, federal prosecutors said.

Shahram “Ron” Roohparvar, 61, was sentenced to three months in prison and three years of home confinement for exporting the ivory, which is regulated by federal law and international agreements.

The sale of elephant ivory is largely banned and has been highly regulated since 1976, according to prosecutors.

Federal law and international agreements make it a crime to export ivory and products made from other protected animals without proper permits and declarations.

Trafficking in protected animals contributes to their extinction, prosecutors said.

Roohparvar admitted in a plea agreement that he falsified papers in order to ship and sell the elephant ivory.

He also admitted he sold products made with other protected animals including leopard, red coral and the helmeted hornbill, a large bird found in Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsula.

Federal prosecutors said that Roohparvar was trafficking in illegal products between 2012 and 2015. He pleaded guilty in July.

Judge Charles Breyer also sentenced Roohparvar to two years of supervised release, a $20,000 fine, $20,000 in restitution to the Lacey Act Reward Fund and a special assessment of $100.

The Lacey Act Reward Fund regulates trade in wildlife and plants.

Prosecutors allege that Roohparvar had at least one client who spent as much as $100,000 on illegal goods, according to the court’s sentencing memo.

Roohparvar is free on bond and must enter prison on or before Feb. 3, 2017.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Office of Law Enforcement prosecuted the case.

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