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Woman admits illegal imports of sea turtle shell guitar picks

Sonoma County resident sentenced to 10 months of home confinement and a $2,000 fine.

May 08, 2009|Associated Press

A 54-year-old Sonoma County woman has pleaded guilty to charges of illegally importing guitar picks made from endangered sea turtle shells.

The U.S. attorney's office says Qing Song pleaded guilty to one felony Wednesday. She was sentenced to 10 months of home confinement and a $2,000 fine.

Song admitted to importing picks or raw shells of the hawksbill sea turtle from China and selling them in the United States.

Some musicians covet the turtle shells instead of ordinary plastic picks because they believe they produce a superior tone.

It is illegal to trade endangered wildlife without a valid permit for scientific research or other approved, noncommercial use.

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