Irishman extradited to US for rhino horn trafficking

22nd September 2015, Comments 0 comments

An Irishman was extradited to the United States to face charges of trafficking in rhinoceros horns and faces five years in prison if guilty, US prosecutors said Tuesday.

Patrick Sheridan is accused of using a "straw buyer" to purchase two black rhino horns from a taxidermist in Texas, prosecutors said. Sheridan and co-defendant and fellow Irishman Michael Slattery then took the horns to New York to sell on the black market.

Slattery pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Sheridan was arrested in Britain in January and went before a Texas court on Monday.

"This extradition is a significant step forward in our international efforts to address wildlife trafficking and demonstrates that our international partners are also committed to ending this illegal trade in endangered species," Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said.

"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.

"We must stop it in its tracks."

Sheridan, who was extradited on Friday, will be formally arraigned at a detention hearing later this week.

© 2015 AFP

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