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Irishman in US jailed for role in trafficking endangered rhinoceros horns

EDENI, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 20: A rhinoceros walks on July 20, 2010 in the Edeni Game Reserve, South Africa. Edeni is a 21,000 acre wilderness area with an abundance of game and birdlife located near Kruger National Park in South Africa.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
An Irish man was jailed for his role in illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking (Photo: Getty Images)

AN Irishman has been jailed for one year after pleading guilty in Texas to the illegal trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

Patrick Sheridan was arrested in January 2015 in Holyhead, north Wales, after being charged in May 2014 in the city of Waco.

He and a co-defendant were accused of conspiring to traffic the horns of the critically endangered black rhinoceros, after buying two horns from a Texas taxidermist.

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They sold the horns in New York along with two others they had illegally purchased in Texas.

Co-defendant Michael Slattery Jr was sentenced to 14 months in prison after pleading guilty in Brooklyn, New York, to his role in the scheme.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the US Government’s Environment Division said that the extradition of Sheridan was a significant step forward in the international effort to address wildlife trafficking.

“Rhino horn trafficking is having a devastating effect on the rhino and the allegations facing this individual are just the type of illegal behavior that is fueling an international market for horns,” he said. “We must stop it in its tracks.”

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