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Dutchess County man charged with illegally selling endangered sharks kept in home pool

Now, here is a home-based business that you don’t see every day: selling live sharks from an above-ground indoor pool.

Joshua Seguine of LaGrangeville was charged with the illegal commercialization of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and wildlife for possessing and planning to sell seven sandbar sharks, a protected species under New York law.

Two of the sharks in the basement pool. Photo courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Seguine first came on law enforcement radar in July 2017 when the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) discovered he was in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck. According to authorities, Seguine admitted that he was transporting the sharks for the purpose of selling them and he told DEC police he had  additional live sharks at his residence. Investigators later discovered Seguine was  conducting business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLC, which had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017, on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com.

DEC law enforcement and marine biologists searched Seguine’s home and found the sandbar sharks, which were moved to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. Seguine was also in possession of two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish, which is an endangered species.

“The trafficking of protected species is both unlawful and harmful to these vulnerable creatures,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said. “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.”

It was not stated why charges came so late. Seguine was arraigned on Tuesday in town of LaGrange Justice Court and released under supervision of parole, according to a press release. He’s scheduled to reappear in court on April 16.


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