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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Man accused of selling sharks

August 01, 2008|Amanda Covarrubias

A federal grand jury indicted a La Crescenta man Thursday for allegedly selling juvenile leopard sharks, authorities said.

Eduardo Fernandez Carvajal, 57, was named in a 19-count indictment accusing him of conspiracy and 18 counts of wildlife trafficking, said Thom Mrozek of the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Selling leopard sharks in California is illegal unless the animal is more than 3 feet long. The indictment alleges that Carvajal collected the sharks from coastal Southland waters and sold them to customers nationwide.

Because it is illegal to ship leopard sharks from California, Carvajal arranged to have the sharks driven to Las Vegas or Phoenix and then shipped by air to customers, Mrozek said.

Carvajal faces a maximum sentence of five years on each count. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment Aug. 18 in federal court in Los Angeles.

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