Home Biologist salary Former WT teacher pleads guilty to illegally importing wild animals

Former WT teacher pleads guilty to illegally importing wild animals


AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) — A former West Texas A&M professor has pleaded guilty to count 1 of replacing information, which violated the Endangered Species Act, court documents show.

The prosecutor and the Kazamier agree to recommend that the court pay a fine of $5,000.

Any fine imposed by the court will be donated to the Endangered Species Cooperative Conservation Fund.

Court documents indicate that Richard Kazamier pleaded guilty to knowingly transporting, receiving, acquiring and possessing wildlife knowing that it was imported in violation of any United States law, regulation or treaty.

From March 2, 2017 to approximately February 17, 2020, Kazmaier knowingly imported everything from golden jackals to Eurasian otters and crabeater foxes.

Kazamier had operated an eBay account under the name Tortuga Tex since the year 2000.

He registered the account in his name and provided two mailing addresses at West Texas A&M University, where he worked as a biology professor and maintained a PayPal account to pay for online purchases.

Kazamier has purchased wildlife items from online sellers around the world including Bulgaria, Canada, China, South Africa, Spain, UK, Russia, Norway, Latvia, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Uruguay.

According to court documents, Kazamier knew that wildlife goods brought into the United States had to be reported to customs authorities and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

He was also aware that wildlife species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora required additional import and export permits before being traded internationally.

Documents indicate that between March 2013 and February 2020, Kazamier imported approximately 358 wildlife items into the United States with a street value of approximately $14,423.

For details on the following imported wildlife items, click here.

Kazamier purchased the items from eBay and other websites with his own money and stores them at West Texas A&M University.

Court documents indicate that Kazamier admitted to USFWS agents that he had imported the items and knew it was against the law.

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