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Thursday, July 14, 2011

James Dickson, Endangered Species Trafficker, Gets Six Months in Jail

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 1:10 PM

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Yep, you can find just about anything you want on Craigslist, whether it's a drunk clown to entertain you for the night or, sadly, bridesmaids to be in your wedding. However, one Bay Area man crossed a legal line when he tried to sell endangered species via the online classified website.

Pacifica local James Dickson was sentenced yesterday to six months in prison after pleading guilty to selling tens of thousands of dollars' worth of taxidermy mounts. His online transactions included an impressive number of large game animals, including a Siberian tiger that sold for $15,000 and a Kodiak bear that was worth $14,000.

Also on his receipts were a polar bear for $6,500 and a black panther listed at $4,500.

Dickson was finally busted when he unwittingly sold a juvenile bald eagle to an undercover agent.

As it stands today, the illegal trade of endangered animals worldwide is worth an estimated $10 to $20 billion annually -- and the Internet has only made it that much easier. Eric Desatnik, WildAid communications manager, tells S.F. Weekly that the U.S. is the third largest consumer of wildlife products, behind China and Europe.

Here is our question: Will Dickson be housed in the same jail as Tras Gustav Karlsson Berg, the gray wolf activist who was sentenced to four months in jail after threatening to shoot a California senator for not taking enough action to protect the carnivorous beasts?

If that's the case, Berg might have just found his new target. 

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Caroline Chen

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