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Leopard shark. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In a federal plea that coincided with Shark Week, a Milpitas, Calif., man has pleaded guilty to illegal shark trafficking.

Dean Trinh, 43, pleaded to conspiracy, three counts of violating the Lacey Act and nine counts of wire fraud. The indictments came on the heels of a three-year investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Prosecutors said Trihn admitted to taking undersized California leopard sharks from the San Francisco Bay and selling them to customers in Canada and Florida through his business, AquatopUSA LLC, High Tech Auctions and the website Hightechauction.com. He also admitted that he conspiring to sell and buy nurse shark pups over the internet, knowing that they were taken in violation of Florida law, authorities said.

For more information, see the website for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California here http://1.usa.gov/13z7wl3

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