August 12, 2015 - An Illinois man was sentenced to 41 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and he must pay $41,000 in restitution for violating the Lacey Act. He tried to purchase imperiled wood turtles that were captured in violation of state law. An undercover Service operation, with Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, led to his arrest.
Court documents also note that CANTORE was previously convicted of federal charges related to the illegal sale of turtles and that he continued to illegally sell turtles while on bond for the current charges.
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<p> United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.
Eastern District of Louisiana
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: ANNA CHRISTMAN
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2015
PHONE: (504) 680-3171
FAX: (504) 589-4978
ILLINOIS MAN SENTENCED
FOR VIOLATING THE LACEY ACT
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that KEITH CANTORE, age
35, from Monee, Illinois, was sentenced today for violating the Lacey Act by attempting to
purchase threatened turtles that were captured in violation of state law.
U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced CANTORE to 41 months
incarceration, to be followed by three years of supervised release and $100 special assessment.
Additionally, CANTORE was ordered to pay approximately $41,000 in restitution.
According to court records, CANTORE was charged with three counts of purchasing
and/or attempting to purchase threatened species of turtles that were illegally captured from the
wild. CANTORE pled guilty to attempted purchase of 100 North American Wood Turtles for
According to court documents, the charges against CANTORE stemmed from
undercover operations conducted by agents from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,
Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Court
documents also note that CANTORE was previously convicted of federal charges related to the
illegal sale of turtles and that he continued to illegally sell turtles while on bond for the current
“The illicit trade in threatened and endangered species represents the destructive results
of unfettered greed,” said Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer, head of ICE Homeland
Security Investigations in New Orleans. “The poaching of Wood Turtles has had a significant
negative impact on its population in the wild. In effect, this defendant was willing to help drive
this species to extinction to make a few bucks. Law