COUPLE SENTENCED FOR SELLING TURTLES IN VIOLATION OF THE LACEY ACT
Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that VINCENT FELIX RIVERE, age 48, and MEGAN LYNN SHOEMAKER, age 36, residents of Maurepas, Louisiana, were sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to selling Louisiana box turtles on July 13, 2017. United States District Court Judge Wendy B. Vitter sentenced RIVERE and SHOEMAKER to serve one (1) year of probation.
On July 13, 2017, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent arrived at the Office Depot parking lot in Covington, LA to arrange a previously negotiated undercover purchase of 29 Louisiana common box turtles from RIVERE. RIVERE and SHOEMAKER were waiting at the location. The undercover agent greeted them, and RIVERE and SHOEMAKER began removing sacks containing Louisiana common box turtles from the trunk of his car. The undercover agent then paid RIVERE $680.00 in cash for the 29 Louisiana common box turtles.
After the transaction, a traffic stop was performed. RIVERE was operating the vehicle and was in possession of the $680 he had received from the undercover agent. The agent checked the serial numbers on the money that RIVERE possessed and it matched the serial numbers on the money that had been provided from the undercover agent.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the United Postal Service in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri is in charge of the prosecution.