Farmingdale, NJ man sentenced for mailing 10 live iguanas labeled as toys
A Farmingdale man who tried to pull a fast one on postal service workers and airport security will be going nowhere for the next six months after he mailed 10 live animals and tried passing them off as "toys", according to a statement Tuesday from U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
In his scheme, 44-year old Jason Ksepka labeled the package with a destination of Hong Kong and labeled it as toys when in actual reality, what was inside was 10 live rhinoceros iguanas.
He also said his name was Luke Jacobs, which was indicted by the sender part of the package.
Ksepka also went out of his way to mail the package -- about an hour in fact -- heading from Farmingdale to out in Lambertville where, on November 7, 2017, he shipped a package from that specific U.S. Post Office via U.S. Priority Mail Express which is when he put a fake name on there and labeled the box on a U.S. Postal Service International Shipping Label and Customs Form and indicated that there were toys inside of it.
Well, the very next day, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Inspectors took the package while at JFK International Airport and discovered the rhinoceros iguanas inside of it.
Investigators learned that this idea was not Ksepka's brainchild after learning that someone paid him $500.00 to falsely label the package and send it to Hong Kong, not once but twice.
As for Ksepka, he plead guilty in federal court to an information, charging him with one count of violating the Lacey Act by falsely labeling an international shipment of wildlife.
In addition to his six-months of home confinement and probation, Ksepka is also barred from engaging in the “take” of wildlife "(defined by law as harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, trapping, capturing, or collecting wildlife or attempting to engage in such conduct)."
On top of that, Ksepka is not allowed to have anything to do with the import, export, transport, sale, purchase, or barter of any wildlife.
Ksepka will pay a fine of $1,000 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lacey Act Reward Fund, as per his plea agreement.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Linda Foster Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark.