Maquoketa taxidermist pleads guilty to trafficking black rhino h - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Maquoketa taxidermist pleads guilty to trafficking black rhino horns

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MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -

A Maquoketa taxidermist is pleading guilty to illegally bringing black rhino horns from Oregon to Iowa.

James Hess, 39, admitted in a plea agreement that he was in contact with a person in Oregon who was trying to sell a pair of horns online, then Hess would resell them to someone in Oregon. Hess says he met with the seller in Oregon, bought the horns and shipped them to someone in Iowa, instead of reselling the horns in Oregon. Hess admits that he received half of the profits this person expected to receive from selling the horns further.

Black rhinos are an endangered species and it's illegal to traffic their horns across state lines.

Hess will be sentenced at at later date, and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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