NEWARK, N.J. – A Chinese man who helped run an international smuggling ring that specialized in rhinoceros horns has been sentenced in New Jersey to nearly six years in federal prison.
Zhifei Li (zhee-feh lee) was given a sentence of five years and 10 months on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Newark.
The 30-year-old resident of Shandong, China, pleaded guilty last December to 11 counts, including smuggling and illegal wildlife trafficking.
The U.S. attorney's office says Li paid three antiques dealers in the United States to help him smuggle the items to China. Thirty smuggled rhino horns plus other objects made from the horns and from elephant ivory were worth about $4.5 million.
All species of the rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international law.