NEW YORK, NY – According to reports, a Dutchess County, New York man was found guilty this week of keeping live sharks in his basement, housed in a 15-foot above-ground pool, with the intention of selling them on the underground exotic fish marketplace.
Joshua Seguine, 40, was smacked with a $5,000 fine after he was convicted Wednesday in the Town of LaGrange Justice Court of illegal trafficking.
Seguine had been discovered driving without a license in the state of Georgia in 2017 with five small sharks in the back of his truck; after admitting to authorities that he had planned to sell the sharks, an investigation was then launched by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
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Investigators subsequently discovered that Seguine had a 15-foot above-ground pool set up in his home basement containing seven sandbar sharks, deemed a “protected species” under NYS law. In addition, DEC officials also uncovered the fact that Seguine owned a business called Aquatic Apex Life L.L.C., through which he sold sharks to buyers via a website called MonsterFishKeepers.com.
The DEC also found several dead sharks, including two leopard sharks, one hammerhead shark, and the snout of a sawfish, which is an endangered species. The living sandbar sharks were transferred to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.
While it is not illegal to own a shark, it is illegal to keep or sell protected or endangered species.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement upon Seguine’s conviction, saying
“The tide has turned for Joshua Seguine, who was convicted and held accountable for his unlawful acts. Let this serve as a loud and clear message: We will not tolerate anyone who preys on protected species to line their pockets.”