A Hawaii-based company and its president pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle wildlife for their involvement trafficking ivory, bone and coral carvings and jewelry.

Curtis Wilmington, president and CEO of Hawaiian Accessories, Inc. was sentenced to six months in jail Tuesday, and the company was sentenced to five years probation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services said in a press release.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that it only intercepts about 10 percent of illegal wildlife products entering the U.S.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that it only intercepts about 10 percent of illegal wildlife products entering the U.S.

Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Hawaii was the third biggest market for ivory in the U.S., behind New York and California, and fears began to arise that it would become the biggest market in the country after the other two states banned it. State lawmakers had considered banning most sales of ivory – and other parts of various animals – for several years, but it didn’t pass legislation until this year.

The arrests of Wilmington and four other defendants in 2015 was the culmination of a two-year joint investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“To have such blatant disregard for the law relating to marine mammals and protected species is unacceptable,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, in the press released.

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