LAGRANGEVILLE – A 40-year-old Lagrangeville man pled guilty in LaGrange Town Court to illegally possessing seven live sharks in an above-ground pool at his house.
Joseph Seguine, 40, admitting to possessing the seven sandbar sharks, a protected species under New York law.
He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and sentenced to a conditional discharge.
Seguine first came to the attention of the State Department of Environmental Conservation in July 2017, when he was arrested in Georgia by the Department of Natural Resources for driving without a license and for possessing five undersized sharks in a large tank in the back of his truck.
He admitted he was transporting the sharks to New York State where he planned on selling them and that he had additional live sharks at his house.
Armed with a search warrant, DEC police went to his Dutchess County home and found the sharks that he possessed without a special license.
The search also uncovered two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark, and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish, also an endangered species.
Seguine had conducted business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLC, and had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com .
The live sharks were transferred to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.
“While we enforce a zero tolerance policy for the keeping, sales and encouragement of federally and state prohibited species, in a forum the size of MFK- over 140,000 active members- people occasionally slip through the cracks. In accordance with our zero tolerance policy however, this user, who goes by the name turbo253 on our forum, will be permanently banned from our community,” said Rob Finnick, site manager for MonsterFishKeepers.com.