New York state prosecutors and environmental authorities say they've arrested a 38-year-old man who allegedly kept live sharks in an above-ground pool in his basement and attempted to sell them online.
Joshua Seguine allegedly first came to the attention of New York Department of Environmental Conservation in 2017, when he allegedly was found in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck. Seguine allegedly admitted that he intended to sell them and said he had additional live sharks at his home, according to a press release from the New York Attorney General's office.
Authorities discovered Seguine was allegedly operating an online business and had allegedly offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com, the release said. Environmental authorities executed a search warrant the next month at the home south of Albany and allegedly discovered an 18-foot above ground pool with seven live sharks, later identified by biologists as sandbar sharks.
CBS New York reported in 2017 the young sandbar sharks were between 2 and 4 feet long. The protected species, which can grow up to 6-8 feet, are illegal to own in the state without a special license, the statement said. The cost to legally acquire a sandbar shark is about $11,500, prosecutors say.
Investigators also found two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark, and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish, an endangered species, prosecutors say. The sandbar sharks were taken in by a local aquarium.
Seguine was arraigned Tuesday and was released under the supervision of probation, prosecutors say. It wasn't immediately clear why he was charged just this week with the 2017 offense. His next court date is set for April 16.
"The trafficking of protected species is both unlawful and harmful to these vulnerable creatures," Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "This individual is charged with knowingly putting these endangered species in harm's way in an effort to line his own pockets. My office will continue to enforce the laws that safeguard our wildlife and hold accountable those who seek to violate them."