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June 27, 2022

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Man who illegally imported/exported live scorpions sentenced

Oregon resident gets probation, community service, $5,000 fine for violating Lacey Act


MEDFORD, Ore. — An Oregon man who illegally imported and exported hundreds of live scorpions has been sentenced in federal court for violating the Lacey Act.

Darren Drake, 39, was sentenced Wednesday to two years’ federal probation, 250 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine payable to the Lacey Act Reward Fund, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon.

The Lacey Act makes it illegal to trade wildlife and plants that have been illegally stolen or sold.

Between September 2017 and March 2018, Drake imported and exported dozens of live scorpions from and to contacts in Germany without first obtaining an import-export license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, court documents said.

One parcel intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection was falsely labeled as chocolates.

Drake also mailed or received several hundred live scorpions from other U.S. states, including Michigan and Texas, in violation of federal mailing laws.

Drake pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.

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