MEMPHIS, Tenn — An Arkansas man has been sentenced for importing and possessing illegal reptiles according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Jackson Roe, 27, of Conway was sentenced Monday for illegally selling and transporting a variety of reptiles in and out of the United States after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received an anonymous tip.
After wildlife inspectors seized a package addressed to Roe they found two live Chinese giant salamanders in plastic jars.
Roe told investigators he had been buying live reptiles and amphibians from a Chinese dealer he had met on Facebook, where the salamanders cost $450 each.
Roe received seven packages from Hong Kong that included six Chinese giant salamanders, a Vietnamese leaf turtle, an Indian roofed turtle and a Chinese big-headed turtle.
Chinese giant salamanders can be as long as 5.9 feet and weigh as much as 110 pounds. The salamander is a protected species and expected to become extinct within the next 10 years according to the San Diego Zoo’s website.
Authorities also found a Nile crocodile, a Morelet’s crocodile and an American alligator in Roe’s possession.
All animals were seized by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Roe has been sentenced to three years probation and 150 hours of community service.