Qiang Wang, a/k/a Jeffrey Wang, a New York antiques dealer, pleaded guilty today in federal court in New York City to conspiracy to smuggle Asian artifacts made from rhinoceros horns and ivory and violate wildlife trafficking laws, announced Robert G. Dreher, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wang was arrested in February 2013 as part of “Operation Crash,” a nation-wide crackdown in the illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns, for his role in smuggling libation cups carved from rhinoceros horns from New York to Hong Kong and China. He pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York.
“Wang and others conspired in an illegal trade that is threatening the future of these species,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Dreher. “This prosecution and continuing investigation should send a clear message to buyers and sellers that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who are involved in this devastating trade.”
“Today’s guilty plea ensures that Qiang Wang, who flouted domestic and international regulations by smuggling artifacts made from an endangered species out of the United States, will be held to account for his crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. “This Office will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to hold to account anyone engaged in this illegal trade.”
“Poaching and profiteering are undermining decades of work by conservationists to stabilize and rebuild rhino and elephant populations,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Ashe. More....