A Covington man was sentenced Wednesday for conspiring to smuggle turtles out of the U.S. in violation of the Lacey Act.
Lawrence Treigle, 33, pleaded guilty to a one-count bill of information. Judge Helen Berrigan sentenced him to 15 months in prison with two months of supervised release.
According to the U. S. attorney, Treigle admitted to being part of a group of people involved in capturing North American wood turtles from the wild in Pennsylvania, shipping the turtles by mail though the United States, and then illegally exporting them to Hong Kong where they are valued as exotic pets and sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine.
According to court documents, Treigle made hundreds of thousand of dollars as part of the international smuggling ring.