British company pleads to smuggling endangered-species goods

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A British company has pleaded guilty to smuggling items into the U.S. made from endangered species.

Court documents indicate The British Shop used false shipping labels to ship the items to America, including suitcases and cigar boxes made from crocodile leather, sawfish blades and multiple pieces made from sea turtle shell.

The company agreed to forfeit $175,000 in a plea deal announced Thursday by prosecutors in federal court in Alexandria.

A Virginia antique dealer and golf course architect, Keith Foster, previously pleaded guilty to importing the items to his Middleburg shop, The Outpost. He was sentenced earlier this year to 30 days in jail.

In a statement, shop director Malcolm Disson attributed mistakes to junior staffers and said the company has tightened procedures and trained staff to prevent future issues.

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