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Protected Florida Sharks And Rays Illegally Shipped

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South Florida Crime

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) — Federal prosecutors want prison time for the president of an Idaho aquarium convicted in the illegal shipping of protected sharks and rays from Florida.

A federal judge in Key West is scheduled Monday to sentence Ammon Covino, president of Idaho Aquarium in Boise and co-founder of Portland Aquarium in Oregon. Prosecutors are seeking a nearly two-year prison sentence for Covino, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in September.

Court documents show Covino admitted involvement in illegally obtaining and shipping three spotted eagle rays and two lemon sharks for the Idaho Aquarium.

Authorities intercepted communications in which Covino told Florida suppliers to ignore the law and make the shipments.

The aquarium itself also pleaded guilty, agreeing to pay a $10,000 fine and donate $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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