State News

Virginia man pleads guilty to trafficking black bear parts

Posted September 19

— Federal prosecutors say a Virginia man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the illegal trafficking of American black bear parts from western North Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Vu Johnnie Nguyen of Virginia Beach pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. District Court in Asheville, North Carolina. The plea follows a year-long investigation into Nguyen's trafficking of the bear parts.

Court documents say Nguyen engaged in the sale and purchase and intent to sell 18 American black bear gall bladders, 16 American black bear claws, two American black bear paws and approximately 50 pounds of American black bear meat in 2014. Bear gall bladders and paws are used in Asian traditional medicine markets.

Nguyen faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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