LOS ANGELES – A famous custom pool-cue maker has been sentenced to two years of probation for his role in trying to help export protected African elephant ivory to Taiwan.
Seventy-five-year-old Cesar "Ernie" Gutierrez was also ordered to immediately pay a $10,000 criminal fine on Monday.
Gutierrez pleaded guilty on Aug. 29 to aiding and abetting the attempted smuggling of African elephant ivory.
Prosecutors say Gutierrez manufactured and sold two people 41 sections of custom pool cues with inlays of the protected ivory for $75,000 to $85.000. Both individuals were later arrested at Los Angeles International Airport.
Gutierrez makes ornate cues with materials that include gold, jewels and exotic woods. His customers through the years have included stars like Frank Sinatra.
A telephone message left for Gutierrez on Monday was not immediately returned.