Green Guide

California man guilty in Vegas in black rhino horn sale case

Posted September 15

— A federal jury in Nevada found a 64-year-old Northern California man with ties to a Colombian drug cartel guilty of selling the horns of endangered black rhinoceros to an undercover buyer at a Las Vegas hotel.

Edward Levine of Novato, California, was convicted Thursday in Las Vegas of conspiracy to violate the Lacey and Endangered Species acts and violating the Lacey Act prohibiting trade in illegally obtained wildlife, fish and plants.

Prosecutors say Levine and San Francisco art dealer Lumsden Quan delivered the horns and collected $55,000 from the agent in march 2014.

Quan pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December 2015 to about a year in prison.

Levine faces up to five years at sentencing Dec. 15.

Prosecutors say they'll seek the maximum, due to Levine's 1995 federal drug trafficking conviction in a 1989 indictment involving Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and members of the Medellin drug cartel.

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