State lawmakers barred the sale of most ivory years ago in hopes of preventing poaching across the globe.

State authorities said in a news release Wednesday that they made an arrest and confiscated dozens of pieces of ivory and turtle shells from a Wailuku antique shop.

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The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said that its Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement raided Antique Freak in Wailuku on Tuesday as part of a search warrant. 

Law enforcement arrested Shane Rosberg, 42, of Kula for allegedly trafficking wildlife. Rosberg is the owner of the business, according to state business records. Rosberg could not be reached for comment Wednesday. 

State and federal authorities raided and confiscated dozens of allegedly illegal animal products, including whale ivory and turtle shells. (Courtesy: Department of Land and Natural Resources/2023)

He is charged with 26 counts of prohibited wildlife trafficking and 26 counts of possession of endangered and protected wildlife, according to the news release.

Lawmakers several years ago banned the sale of most ivory products in hopes of preventing poaching across the globe. Under Hawaii law, it’s illegal to sell or market animal products or body parts from species including sea turtle, elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, great ape, hippopotamus, lion, pangolin, cheetah, jaguar, leopard, monk seal, walrus and narwhal. 

State authorities allege they found several products made from threatened and endangered wildlife in the Wailuku shop, including whale tooth ivory, elephant ivory, walrus ivory and turtle shells.  

Rosberg’s bail for each of the misdemeanor charges was set at $250, for a total of $13,000, according to the news release. He is scheduled to appear in the Wailuku District Court on June 15 at 10:30 a.m. 

The punishment for a first conviction carries a mandatory fine of at least $200, but he could face a fine up to $10,000 if he’s charged under the Hawaii Administrative Rules. He could also face imprisonment of up to a year. 

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation.

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