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Man Sentenced for Smuggling Ivory

January 15, 2002

A Liberian immigrant who smuggled about 200 pounds of elephant ivory from Nigeria to Los Angeles was sentenced in federal court Monday to four months in a halfway house and fined $1,500.

The ivory was concealed in four hollowed-out chair frames and a large box that Ebrimo Marigo, 36, of Hollywood picked up at Los Angeles International Airport in April.

Thinking it might contain narcotics, customs inspectors X-rayed the shipment after it arrived at the cargo terminal. They found 22 whole elephant tusks and about 150 smaller pieces of ivory. Marigo was arrested after he claimed the shipment.

African elephants are recognized as an endangered species. The U.S. has signed an international treaty barring the import of endangered species without permission.

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