A 26-year-old Western Sydney man has been handed a jail sentence after pleading guilty to exporting native animals under national environment law.
Buddy Pogmore was sentenced in Penrith District Court today for offences relating to the exporting of native lizards, turtles, snakes and crocodiles to China, dealing in the proceeds of crime and dealing in protected animals.
He was jailed for three years with a non-parole period of 18 months.
The sentencing follows a joint investigation by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, the NSW Police Organised Crime Strike Force Raptor and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which began in early 2019. Recent criminal investigations have uncovered significant links between Australian and overseas wildlife trafficking networks.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley welcomed the sentence and praised the work of investigators from the various agencies involved.
“This sentence will deter others from engaging in this sort of unlawful activity and go some way to protecting Australian wildlife from this cruel trade,” Minister Ley said.
“It sends a strong message to organised criminals who seek to profit from our unique wildlife on the international black market, that we will hold them to account.
“The Australian Government continues to strengthen its collaboration and intelligence sharing with international partners to detect and disrupt wildlife trafficking syndicates operating within the country.
“We remain resolute in our tough stance on this transnational criminal activity that threatens our unique Australian fauna and resilient agriculture industry,” Minister Ley said.
Pogmore was arrested on 23 May 2019 after NSW police and environment officers executed a search warrant at a Western Sydney address and located 12 Shingleback lizards, one Stimson’s python, three young Monitors, a South American Mata Mata turtle, and two deceased crocodiles.
Investigations also uncovered $59,980 worth of unexplained payments received by Pogmore.
Wildlife offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment or a $210,000 fine.