(STL.News) – A Worcester man was arrested yesterday and charged in federal court in Worcester with unlawfully importing a protected species.
Nathan Boss, 27, was charged with one count of unlawful smuggling of prohibited wildlife. Boss made an initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy.
According to the charging documents, on Sept. 19, 2019, federal investigators intercepted an inbound U.S. Postal Service package from Hong Kong that was addressed to “Shelton Boss” at an address on Mildred Avenue in Worcester. The package was found to contain four black-breasted leaf turtles (Geoemyda spengleri), a species included in the Convention for Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna, an international agreement joined by the U.S. that governs the importation of designated wildlife. Specifically, any black-breasted leaf turtle imported into the United States must be declared and approved by Fish and Wildlife Service before any shipment can be received.
On Sept. 20, 2019, Boss accepted delivery of the subject package at a post office in Worcester. Before leaving with the package containing the turtles, Boss allegedly informed the postal clerk that “Shelton Boss” was an alias that he used. In the course of the investigation, agents discovered evidence of Boss’s involvement in the unlawful importation of wildlife prior to September 2019.
The charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; David Sykes, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement; and Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent made the announcement today. Assistance with the investigation was provided by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadine Pellegrini of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.