Fla. man pleads guilty to trafficking in black rhinoceros horns, faces up to 5 years prison


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MIAMI — A South Florida man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking in the horns of the black rhinoceros in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

A federal judge is scheduled in September to sentence 76-year-old Gene Harris of Miami following his guilty plea this week. Harris could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to court records, Harris sold a variety of wildlife products, including taxidermy mounts. In 2011, he arranged for a customer in California to buy two black rhinoceros horns from a seller in Phoenix, Arizona, for $60,000.

Court documents show Harris was paid a $10,000 finder's fee.

Black rhinoceros horns are prized commodities in many Asian countries, where they are turned into ornamental carvings and other items.

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