A man who illegally collected and shipped endangered snakes to his Connecticut house was sentenced to three years' probation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport.
William Carl Bartlett, 66, of Eastpoint, Florida and formerly Cheshire, Conn., was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 300 hours of community service.
Prosecutors say Bartlett, a snake and reptile collector, shipped 10 kingsnakes from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Connecticut in violation of that state’s laws in 2012.
He also collected two kingsnakes from the Outer Banks to breed them in Connecticut, prosecutors said
In 2015, Barlett transported five Coastal Plain milk snakes from the Chesapeake Forest and the Pocomoke River State Forest in Worcester County, Maryland, to his home in Connecticut in violation of Maryland law, authorities said.
The following year, he illegally collected four protected snakes and four lizards from the Pocomoke River State Forest, but was stopped by law enforcement before he could transport them to Connecticut, federal officials said.
On December 6, 2017, Bartlett pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally transporting protected wildlife.
He is the fourth person prosecuted as part of “Operation Kingsnake,” a U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigation into individuals who trafficked hundreds of illegally collected snakes from 12 states, including Connecticut, and Canada.
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