Lanterns criss-cross over Grant Avenue in San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood Thursday, November 9,  2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Lanterns criss-cross over Grant Avenue in San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood Thursday, November 9, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Undercover bust catches Chinatown shop selling ivory, prosecutors claim

A Chinatown business owner is facing charges after undercover officers busted him allegedly selling ivory at a storefront on Grant Avenue, the District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

The California Fish and Wildlife found 32 pieces of ivory at Lovell’s Gallery after a worker sold an ivory statuette to an undercover officer for $240 last December, prosecutors claim.

Prosecutor Gregory Alker has since filed charges against the store owner, a 56-year-old El Cerrito resident named Abraham Magadish, and the corporate owner of Lovell’s Gallery, ALEAR-90, Inc., of one count of selling ivory and two counts of illegal possession of ivory for sale.

“The sale of ivory has decimated the elephant population around the world,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. “By eliminating the market for ivory at home, we can play a role in reducing demand and the likelihood that these majestic animals will be hunted abroad.”

An attorney for ALAER-90 pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment Wednesday. Magadish has yet to be arraigned.

Two employees of the store, 58-year-old Vivian Wei Zhao and 33-year-old Yesika Becerra, surrendered to authorities last Friday and are each facing a charge of selling ivory.

Zhao and Becerra are scheduled to appear for an arraignment Thursday.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wear masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. (Courtesy SFSD)
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23), shown here against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center on January 20, was ejected from Thursday night’s game on a technical foul after he yelled at a teammate during a play. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors 119-101 loss to Knicks highlights Draymond Green’s value

Team struggles with fouls, lack of discipline in play

Scooter companies have expanded their distribution in neighborhoods such as the Richmond and Sunset districts. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board signs off on changes to scooter permit program

Companies will gete longer permits, but higher stakes

Most Read