- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - An undercover investigation into poaching and illegal sales of New York’s native turtles, snakes and salamanders has led to charges against 25 people.

More than 2,400 animals were involved in documented crimes and state Department of Environmental Conservation officers are holding nearly 400 as evidence.

Some collectors are accused of trading and selling species that are endangered or threatened. Federal authorities are also pursuing charges against a Maryland meat processor accused of buying hundreds of illegally trapped snapping turtles, and a Louisiana turtle farm accused of buying thousands of turtle hatchlings for export to China.

Investigators say 18 people were charged in New York, six in Pennsylvania and one in Canada.

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