SCSU Professor Sentenced in Ivory Smuggling Case
MINNEAPOLIS -- A St. Cloud State University philosophy professor has been sentenced for illegally smuggling items made of elephant ivory from the United States to China.
Forty-three-year-old Yiwei "Steve" Zheng was ordered to pay $500,000 into the Lacey Act Reward Fund which is used to pay rewards for information on wildlife crimes.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office Zheng was also ordered to serve three years probation, a six-week period of intermittent confinement, and 150 hours of community service.
Zheng pleaded guilty in January to illegally smuggling items made of elephant ivory from the United States to China. He also pleaded guilty to violating the federal Lacey Act, which bans trade in wildlife, fish and plants that have been illegally taken or sold.
Zheng was indicted last year on multiple counts related to the smuggling of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns.