From the Department of Justice:

Nov.7, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY –Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joseph Allen Maldonado, Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, and “Joe Exotic,” 55, formerly of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, has been charged in a 21-count superseding indictment that includes the two previously charged murder-for-hire counts and also alleges nineteen wildlife crimes, including the alleged killing of five tigers and the illegal sale of tiger cubs, in violation of the Endangered Species Act and Lacey Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma. 

  On September 5, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment that accuses Maldonado-Passage of hiring an unnamed person in November 2017 to murder “Jane Doe” in Florida. According to the indictment, Maldonado-Passage gave the unnamed person $3,000 to travel from Oklahoma to South Carolina and then to Florida to carry out the murder. He allegedly agreed to pay thousands more after the deed. The indictment alleges Maldonado-Passage caused the person to travel to Dallas to get fake identification for use in the plot. According to the indictment, the person traveled from Oklahoma to South Carolina on November 26, 2017.

In a second count, the September 5 indictment alleges that beginning in July 2016, Maldonado-Passage repeatedly asked a different unnamed person to find someone to murder Jane Doe in exchange for money. The second person put Maldonado-Passage in contact with an undercover FBI agent. Maldonado-Passage met with the undercover agent on December 8, 2017, to discuss details of murdering Jane Doe.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Maldonado-Passage in Gulf Breeze, Florida, on September 7, 2018. He has been ordered detained in the Marshals’ custody pending trial.

According to the superseding indictment handed down in November, Maldonado-Passage shot and killed five tigers in October 2017 to make room for cage space for other big cats. Because tigers are an endangered species, these alleged killings violated the Endangered Species Act. He is also charged with violating the Endangered Species Act by selling and offering to sell tiger cubs in interstate commerce.  These crimes are alleged to have taken place from November 16, 2016, to March 6, 2018.

The remaining wildlife counts allege violations of the Lacey Act, which makes it a crime to falsify records of wildlife transactions in interstate commerce. According to these counts, Maldonado-Passage designated on delivery forms and Certificates of Veterinary Inspection that tigers, lions, and a baby lemur were being donated to the recipient or transported for exhibition only, when he knew that they were being sold in interstate commerce. One count alleges that Maldonado-Passage sold in interstate commerce a two-week-old lion cub.

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