DUTCHESS COUNTY — Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the conviction and sentencing of Joshua Seguine, age 38, of the Hamlet of LaGrangeville in Dutchess County for illegally trafficking and selling Sandbar sharks, a protected species.
“Trafficking protected species is unlawful and ultimately harmful to the wildlife,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “My office will continue to partner with DEC and use every tool at our disposal to protect vulnerable species and hold to account those who seek to profit from their suffering.”
“In New York State, it is illegal to take or possess Sandbar sharks, which are a protected species. The defendant in this case amplified his crime by attempting to sell the sharks for personal, financial gain. I commend the work of DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, and Division of Marine Resources staff for investigating this case and the Attorney General’s Office for bringing this individual to justice,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
Seguine pleaded guilty in the Town of LaGrange Justice Court with Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Wildlife (Environmental Conservation Law ECL 71-0924(2) for the illegal possession with intent to sell seven Sandbar Sharks, a protected species under New York law. Sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2019.
According to the felony complaint and statements made by the prosecutor at arraignment, Seguine came to the attention of DEC Law Enforcement in July of 2017, after he was found in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck in Georgia. According to authorities, Seguine admitted that he was transporting the sharks to New York State, where he intended to sell them, and that he possessed additional live sharks at his house in New