An Irish national who was extradited to the United States in August was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison for his role in trafficking the horn of a protected rhinoceros, according to the Department of Justice.
Richard Sheridan, 50, an Irish national living in the U.K. pleaded guilty in a Miami federal court Tuesday to charges that he trafficked a libation cup made from a rhinoceros horn, the press release said.
U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Sheridan to 14 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
The charges, originally mentioned in a May 2014 indictment, named fellow Irish national Michael Hegarty as Sheridan’s co-conspirator.
According to the indictment, Sheridan and Hegarty purchased the libation cup in 2012 from an auction house in Rockingham, N.C. and smuggled it out of the United States.
“Sheridan conspired to profit from the demise of one of the world’s most endangered species,” Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said. “We will continue to work with our international partners to fight the trade in protected and endangered species, and organized criminal enterprises associated with it.”
After Sheridan’s extradition to the United States from Belgium, Hegarty pleaded guilty to conspiring with Sheridan to traffic in the libation cup. He was sentenced November 2017 in a Miami federal court to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.