7 men busted in illegal, million-dollar flying squirrel trafficking ring

By 98.7 KLUV

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission concluded up a 19-month investigation on Monday into a flying-squirrel trafficking ring operating out of the state.

The Commission arrested seven men for what they called an “elaborate organized enterprise to smuggle Florida’s wildlife to interstate and international buyers,” Fox 13 reports.

Flying squirrels are a protected species in Florida, so what these seven men were doing was illegal.

Officials said the men would catch the squirrels in rural Florida, sell them to dealers in Florida as well as Georgia, who would then in turn find buyers in South Korea.

The man arrested in the illegal ring caught an estimated 36,000 squirrels in the past three years, amounting to approximately $1 million in value.

More suspects are expected to be arrested, according to the report. The accused all face charges ranging from conspiracy to commit racketeering to grand theft.

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