Alice man convicted of lying to feds receives probation in wildlife trafficking case
Gary Tucker, the vice president of Orient BioResource Center, Inc., was sentenced to probation and fined related to his role in a wildlife trafficking case.
Tucker, of Alice, was convicted in Florida in August with a federal case as part of an international wildlife trafficking investigation. He was recently sentenced to three years probation with the first three months on home confinement. In addition, he was fined $5,000, in Flordia federal court.
Tucker agreed to be interviewed by special agents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service about potential illegal trafficking of wildlife. During the interview, agents asked Tucker about his involvement in the obtaining and importing long-tailed macaques primates (monkeys) used in scientific research from Southeast Asia to the U.S.
According to court documents, the existence of site visit reports or audits was vital to the ongoing investigation because the possession, sale, export, and import of primates are highly regulated by the international community and the U.S. under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
"We were disappointed with the lenient sentence," said Nick Atwood, Campaigns Coordinator, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. "The question now is will Tucker's customers continue to purchase monkeys from him?"
"In light of the guilty plea, and his continued employment with Orient BioResource Center, we will contact the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies and urge them to reconsider Orient BioResource Center's eligibility for the award of government contracts," Atwood explained."Our goal is to speak out on behalf of the hundreds of monkeys each year that the company condemns to a miserable existence inside research labs."
Orient Bioresource Center, Inc. in Alice was contacted in response to the federal case and declined for comment.