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South Carolina men face turtle-trafficking penalties

Federal charges are generally a serious matter, and a conviction could turn your life upside-down. Aside from the possibility of ending up in prison or being fined huge sums of money, the mark on your criminal record can heavily impact your future. You might even find that friends and family treat you differently once they hear of your conviction, and even before it reaches that point, the pressures of a criminal investigation can place a strain on your relationships with loved ones.

In Charleston, a 35-year-old man has been charged on suspicion of involvement in turtle trafficking. He was sentenced to three years of probation for this and a further three in connection with a charge relating to ammunition and weapons in his possession as a convicted felon.

The turtles in question are alleged to have been endangered spotted turtles, a protected species. A second South Carolina man, aged 68, has also been sentenced in connection with the illegal sale and possession of these animals after undercover agents reputedly engaged in a number of transactions with him. Neither man had a valid permit for the business operations in which they are believed to have been engaging.

Like all federal crimes, wildlife trafficking can come with serious penalties, so a good defense is critical. If you are facing federal charges, or any other criminal allegations, you might benefit from the immediate advice and support of an attorney. He or she can explain the charges against you and the potential penalties if you are convicted. Your attorney may also be able to help you prepare for your trial and ensure that your side of the story is heard by the court.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Turtle Traders Sentenced for Wildlife Trafficking,” Dan McCue, Sept. 23, 2015