Man who illegally imported turtles from Vietnam pleads guilt

Los Angeles Times

A man from the Little Saigon area of Westminster pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for illegally importing more than a dozen federally protected turtles and fish species from Vietnam.

Kevin Duc Vu, who sold fish and turtles on the internet, faces up to 20 years behind bars when he is sentenced Feb. 5 by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder.

Vu, 44, admitted in a plea agreement that he imported seven big-headed turtles and seven Asian arowana fish — both of which are protected under the federal Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and can only be brought into the United States with permits.

The package from Vietnam — labeled “aquarium supplies” — also contained seven four-eyed turtles, six Asian box turtles and a black-breasted turtle, which are also all protected under federal law, according to the plea deal filed in Los Angeles federal court.

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