Couple Allegedly Sells Jaguar Skins to Undercover Feds
See my vest, see my vest, made from real gorilla chest. Feel this sweater, there's no better, than authentic Irish setter.
If you've ever considered pursuing a career in the age-old and time-honored pelt-trading industry, you may want to make sure that you aren't selling skins of endangered species. Or, if you insist upon doing that, at least make sure you don't sell them to undercover federal agents.
That's what Texans Elias Garcia Garcia and Maria Angela Plancarte did with jaguar [pronounced jag-YOO-arr] pelts, according to an indictment unsealed last week in a Florida federal court. The couple violated the Endangered Species Act and the "federal conspiracy statute," according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
The duo, who hail from La Feria, sold two jaguar pelts to undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services officers in Texas last November, according to that U.S. Attorney's Office press release. The skins -- which the couple allegedly brought in from Mexico -- went for a cool $3,000, and the defendants "offered additional future sales of up to ten jaguar skins," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The couple also allegedly sold skins to undercover FWS agents in Florida, for $3,000, plus "an additional $1,000 as a deposit against the future sale of up to ten jaguar skins."
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 5, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulane University Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 12, 11:00am
They were arrested last week while crossing the border from Mexico into Brownsville. They're scheduled to be transferred to Miami to face formal charges
The enterprising couple allegedly "offered to sell jaguar skins to potential customers in person in Texas and by electronic means elsewhere."
As reprehensible as it is, we can at least understand the financial incentive to sell jaguar pelts, but what kind of unrepentant dick buys them? And what do you do with them, anyway? Make a coat, and proudly tell your friends that you're wearing "real" jaguar? Sew them together and fashion them into pimptastic bed sheets?
If Garcia and Plancarte are found guilty, we hope they get the maximum penalty for each charge -- $50,000 and a year in prison. Or better yet, throw 'em in a room with a jaguar and let the parties settle out of court.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.