BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced today that Ferdinand E. Krizan, 78, of Franklinville, NY, who was convicted of trafficking in prohibited wildlife, was fined $30,000 by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who handled the case, stated that on November 6, 2013, Krizan, owner of Fred’s Antiques in Franklinville, purchased two elephant tusks from an auction house in Montreal, Quebec for $4,320 Canadian dollars. The defendant then had the tusks shipped to an address in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
On November 28, 2013, Krizan transported the tusks from Niagara Falls, Ontario into the United States through the Rainbow Bridge port of entry, violating the Endangered Species Act. Subsequently, on May 31, 2014, the defendant sold the tusks, along with four additional tusks to a buyer in Massachusetts for $50,000 American dollars. At the time of that sale, Krizan knew that the two elephant tusks had been improperly transported into the United States. At no time did the defendant apply for or receive a permit under the Endangered Species Act authorizing the importation, delivery, receipt, transportation, or sale of elephant ivory.
The investigation also determined that the defendant also illegally trafficked in other protected wildlife including:
• a Narwhal tusk, which he sold for $8,000 American dollars in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act;
• two elephant tusks, which he sold for $66,000 American dollars;
• a carved elephant ivory art object, which he purchased for $1,020 Canadian dollars;
• one elephant tusk, which he purchased for $3,130.68 Canadian dollars;
• one hippo ivory carving, which he sold for $1,400 American dollars;
• one elephant ivory musician carving, which he sold for $2,525 American dollars;
• one bronze and elephant ivory sosoon figurine, which he sold for $3,700 American dollars;
• one elephant ivory trip-tix, which he sold for $2,700 Canadian dollars; and
• one carved coral figurine, which he sold for $3,400 American dollars.
The total value of the wildlife trafficked by the defendant is $141,877.00. As part of the plea, the defendant will also abandon approximately 100 pieces of elephant ivory carvings.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the direction of Honora Gordon, Special Agent in Charge, Northeast Region, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella.