COURT DOCUMENTS: Former WT professor pleads guilty to illegally importing wildlife items

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 4:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 5:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A former West Texas A&M professor has plead guilty to Count One of superseding information, that violated the Endangered Species Act, according to court documents.

Both the prosecutor and the Kazamier are agreeing to recommend to the court that he pay a $5,000 fine.

Any fine imposed by the court will be paid to the cooperative endangered Species conservative fund.

Court documents say, Richard Kazamier pleaded guilty to knowingly transporting, receiving, acquiring and possessed the wildlife knowing that it had been imported in violation of any law, regulation, or treaty of the United States.

From about March 2, 2017 through February 17, 2020, Kazmaier knowingly imported everything from a golden jackal to a Eurasian otter and a crab-eating fox.

Kazamier operated an eBay account under the name Tortuga Tex since the year 2000.

He registered the account in his name and provided two mailing addresses at West Texas A&M University, where he worked as a biology professor and maintained a PayPal account to pay for online purchases.

Kazamier bought wildlife items from online sellers around the world, including Bulgaria, Canada, China, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, Russia, Norway, Latvia, Indonesia, Czech Republic and Uruguay.

Court documents say, Kazamier knew that wildlife merchandise brought into the United States must be declared to customs authorities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

He was also aware that wildlife protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora required additional import and export permits before being traded internationally.

Documents say, between March 2013 and February 2020, Kazamier imported around 358 wildlife items into the U.S. with a market value of around $14,423.

For details of the following imported wildlife items, click here.

Kazamier bought the items on eBay and other websites with his own money and stores them at West Texas A&M University.

Court documents say, Kazamier admitted to USFWS agents that he imported the items and knew that it was against the law.

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