A California pool cue maker has been charged in a smuggling case involving sticks with ivory inlays. Below is the release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

North Hollywood Pool Cue Maker Charged with Helping Smuggle Elephant Ivory

July 28, 2016

LOS ANGELES – A North Hollywood man surrendered to U.S. Marshals this morning after an arrest warrant was issued on federal charges of aiding and abetting the illegal smuggling of protected elephant ivory.

Cesar Ernesto Gutierrez, 75, was charged in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in United States District Court with aiding and abetting the attempted illegal exportation from the United States to Taiwan of protected African elephant ivory.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Gutierrez, a well-known custom pool cue maker in the United States, operates Ginacue, a custom pool cue manufacturing business in North Hollywood. Gutierrez allegedly manufactured and sold two people approximately 41 sections of custom pool cues containing the protected elephant ivory inlays.

The two individuals were subsequently arrested at Los Angeles International Airport when agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discovered the pool cues in their luggage. The seized pool cues were purchased from Gutierrez for approximately $75,000 to $85,000. Gutierrez is charged with aiding and abetting the attempted illegal smuggling of the high-value pool cues.