LAGRANGE – A Lagrangeville man faces sentencing in September on his conviction for illegally trafficking and selling Sandbar sharks, a protected species.
Joshua Seguine, 38, pled guilty in Town of LaGrange Justice Court to illegally possessing seven Sandbar sharks with intent to sell.
Authorities said Seguine had the live sharks in an 18-foot pool inside his home and offered to sell them on the Internet.
He came to the attention of State Department of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement in July 2017 after he was found in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck in Georgia. Authorities said he admitted that he was taking them to New York State where he intended to sell them, and that he possessed additional live sharks at his house in New York.
After the information was sent to the DEC, investigators discovered Seguine was conducting business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLL, which had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 on www.MonsterFishKeelers.com.
Armed with a search warrant, DEC police and biologists from the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium in Coney Island discovered an above-ground pool in Seguine’s house with seven live sharks that were identified as Sandbar sharks, which are illegal to possess without a special license.
The search also uncovered two dead Leopard Sharks, one dead Hammerhead Shark, and the rostrum (snout) of a Smalltooth Sawfish, an endangered species.
The sharks were transported to the Riverhead facility and later moved to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, where they are on display as part of the “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit.
When sentenced, Seguine faces the possibility of one year in jail under state agriculture law and three years of probation. There is also a mandatory $5,000 fine under Environmental Conservation law.
The case was investigated by the attorney general’s office and the DEC.