Agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrested two men who allegedly attempted to sell rhino horns in the latest Operation Crash investigation. Here are the details from the U.S. Department of Justice:

Two California Men Indicted for Selling Endangered Black Rhinoceros Horns
April 2, 2014

Edward N. Levine, 63, of Mill Valley, Calif., and Lumsden W. Quan, 46, of San Francisco, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas today for the illegal sale of two horns from an endangered black rhinoceros.

According to the indictment, over the course of approximately two months, Quan and Levine negotiated the sale of two black rhinoceros horns by e-mail and telephone, ultimately communicating with a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity. The indictment further alleges that Quan and Levine offered to sell the two black rhinoceros horns for $55,000 and agreed to meet the buyer in Las Vegas. On March 19, 2014, after directing another person to drive with the horns from California to Las Vegas, Quan and Levine flew from California to Las Vegas, to make the sale. Quan met the law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity in a Las Vegas hotel room, where Quan sold two black rhinoceros horns for $55,000. Both men were arrested later that day.

The indictment charges Levine and Quan each with one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act and one count of violating the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the sale of wildlife that was transported in violation of law. The Endangered Species Act prohibits the interstate transportation of endangered species for a commercial purpose and the interstate sale of an endangered species.rhino horn

All species of rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international law and the black rhinoceros is endangered. Since 1976, trade in rhinoceros horn has been regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty signed by 180 countries around the world to protect fish, wildlife and plants that are or may become imperiled.