BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks was sentenced Wednesday to five years, two months in a U.S. prison for related money laundering counts.
Gregory Logan, 60, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled about 300 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle, federal prosecutors said. They were shipped from Ellsworth, Maine, to buyers across the country.
Narwhals are protected in the United States and Canada. The medium-sized whales are known for their spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet.
"Unlawful wildlife trade like this undermines efforts by federal, state, and foreign governments to protect and restore populations of species like the narwhal, a majestic creature of the sea," said acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Logan was sentenced by a federal judge in U.S. District Court on money-laundering and conspiracy counts to which he pleaded guilty under an agreement in which smuggling charges were dropped.
He has already served four months of home detention and paid a $350,000 fine in Canada after pleading guilty to a related wildlife-smuggling crime.
Logan was charged along with two U.S. residents.
Andrew Zarauskas, of Union, New Jersey, was convicted and sentenced to 33 months. Charges against a Tennessee man were dismissed.
According to the indictment, Logan was working as a Canadian Mountie when he began bringing narwhal tusks across the border into the U.S. in 2000. He retired from the police force in 2003.
He has spent 18 months in custody in the U.S after being extradited from Canada in March 2016. The extradition agreement with Canada limited the charges to the money-laundering counts.