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Old 12-11-03, 04:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec-2002
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Angry A fellow Ssnakess member needs your help

First off, I am not going to mention the members name however I felt it was important that this be brought to your attention.

Here's the story,

This past summer he made an inquiry to obtain some box turtles from a "so-called breeder in the States. He provided the "breeder" with the necessary shipping details so that paperwork could be drawn up and to insure the legality of the shipment. Without further confirmation, the "breeder" shipped the turtles and provided a tracking number for UPS . The interesting part is no money was ever exchanged between the parties, no final approval was ever made and all of this was done on two emails with no voice confirmation and the deal was never solidified. It is my understanding that the shipment was seized at the border for a number of reasons.

1. Improper packing. These animals were shipped in socks and then thrown in a box and covered with candles
2. Improper value declaration
3. Shipping of WC species indigenous to a US region
4. Shippping of a controlled species
5. Shipping of live animals by improper means
6. Cruelty to animals

and who knows what else !!!!

The bottomline is he is now about to take it up the A$$ for something he did not have any knowledge of, until the act had been committed.

He is facing some very severe fines from both Fish and Wildlife in Canada and from Customs

Up to 10,000 dollars CDN fine from the Wildlife people (likely will end up around 5000-7000 dollars) along with a grounding meaning he will be unable to fly or cross the border for 7 years. All future shipments will also go on the watch list. It is not known what fines will be imposed by the customs people.

Under Canadian law, the importer is solely responsible for any shipments, legal or otherwise coming into Canada. He has been advised that legal counsel will likely end up costing more and is therefore being encouraged to plead guilty. He has therefore pled guilty to the charges as it appears to be a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

If he wishes to come forward to add more I will let him do this on his own. But these are VERY serious charges that are not warranted and he is a good person not deserving of the situation.

The scary part is any A$$hole can ship anything to YOUR location, legal or not and if it gets picked up by the officials YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE.

Personally this is going to make ME think twice about ordering ANYTHING or providing information to ANYONE outside of this country.

What is your slant on the situation and how do you think he should proceed? Needless to say he is really bummed out by all of this, and I am sure he could use your moral support and maybe your ideas on how he can get through this.

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Old 12-11-03, 06:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it were me I'd plead innocent and fight my case............If it were me I'd go before a judge and tell him that I had no knowledge that the guy was going to ship them..........all you did inquire about them but you didnt' send any money so therefore you never purchased them so you didn't take legal possession of them. I guess the moral of the story is don't send people your mailing address until you've finalized the deal.

Corey Woods Reptile
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Old 12-11-03, 07:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar-2003
Location: Orillia, ON
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Assuming all statements are true, I'm with Corey, fight it. 1,2,5,6 make sense to me but 5 & 6 seem like the same problem (could be separate charges, though. As for 3 & 4, shipping WC box turtles isn't necessarily a problem. There are some states where this would be allowed, so I guess it depends upon the state of origin. They are CITES II listed though, so an export permit from the US would have been required.

Another moral of the story- make sure that in any communications with sellers that it is specified that only legal specimens will be purchased, and that all applicable federal (both countries), provincial, and state laws will be followed. This could help if you end up in a similar situation.

I might be able to be of more help, but I'd like to hear from the person involved first. Assuming they're not under 18, they might as well not be anonymous, as the charges are public and word will get around the herp community pretty quickly...

Jeff Hathaway
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It is going to take some convincing, though, that it wasn't set up ahead of time for the money to follow if the shipment was successful.
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Old 12-11-03, 09:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb-2003
Location: Southey Sask.
Posts: 114
I guess I'm not certain what we can do to help.

It seems unreasonable to be faced with charges if the purchase was not made. On the other hand, the seller obviously got the person's shipping address somehow. I have made lots of inquiries, but I have only given my mailing address when shipping was confirmed. I guess we can all learn a lesson from this.

Please specify how we can help.

Tara Garratt
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Old 12-11-03, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well get some actual proof of this (not saying your lieing) but show us a little proof and Id be willing to toss a few bucks( Im not rich myself) to help a fellow herper out. and Im sure well I hope a few others on the site would be willing to do the same. provided the right paperwork or whatever you would use the properly show us the details thanks.
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Old 12-11-03, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That doesn't sound right to me. I have always been under the assumption if someone sends you a package and you have no idea who the person is, or why they sent you the package, then you did nothing wrong. People who get bombs in the mail aren't thrown in jail for bomb making. If this person sent no money, no check, no nothing, then how can they be his turtles legally? That sounds insane! That would mean anyone could ship anything to anyone without the sender ever getting in trouble. Maybe I am wrong though and I obviously do not know the specifics.

I hope he/she gets this worked out and I would most definitly be fighing these charges.

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Old 12-12-03, 05:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback so far people.

Jeff I have talked to the person and he is supposed to be in contact with you very shortly, if he has not already. PM me if possible,if you haven't heard from him by the end of the weekend.

Marisa, obviously this sounds screwy. But your comparison doesn't fit the situation. As mentioned these goods were not sent out with his consent, but in the eyes of the law, he is the recipient (who had not provided importers documents), and the exporter failed to send any form of exporter's document. If there is a name on a parcel, who do you think becomes the prime suspect? The customs people don't know or care how the stuff is paid for. For all they care, it could have been a gift. There concern is to make sure the paperwork is in order and that the laws are adhered to. In this case it appears that you are guilty, until you can prove your innocence and that is where it gets tricky. I could send you illegal drugs, put a fake name on the parcel as the sender and who do you think they are going to investigate? The person that sent it or the real person who gets the parcel?

The interesting part is why the shipper would send out the goods before getting paid for them. I dealt extensively in Ebay sales of antiques a few years back, with most of the sales going to the States. And never once, did I ship anything without payment received first.

Darren179, providing proof of anything, obviously is going to be difficult, as this is under investigation and the only paper he has received was a seizure notice received in the mail and a visit from the Wildlife officer. He is not searching monetary help. The purpose is to find other avenues, agencies or organizations that may assist him in clearing his name. I do not doubt his innocence, otherwise I would not have posted this thread.

Tara, as mentioned the info was provided to the "breeder" so that the cost and logistics could be worked out and reported back to him. It was the breeder who took the initiative to ship these animals based on that info.

He has been encouraged to file a report with his member of parliament and has since done so. I have no reason to believe that he is not being honest in his representation of the situation. He has been very accomodating with the Fish and Wildlife people to date and his head is still spinning over this situation. But despite this he is still liable to the fines as informed to him by the officer. Like it or not, that appears to be the law.

Oh btw, apparently, on a lighter note, the turtles are live and healthy.

Likewise I hope that all of this is worked out.


Last edited by jwsporty; 12-12-03 at 06:12 AM..
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Old 12-12-03, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We must be missing part of this story, If this was how the laws work? then i could screw any one i was mad at Just by getting his or her mailing address. Also, Who sends a shipment to someone they dont know without some sort of payment.

If this story is true, Then fight it !!! It sounds like an easy case to me.
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Old 12-12-03, 04:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The problem has been delt with, thanx for everyones concerns on the matter, Its been delt with and there are minimal fines,
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Old 12-12-03, 04:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good to hear everything is alright.
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