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Michigan Man Gets 5 Months Prison Time In Florida Wildlife Case

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Baby Alligators.

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South Florida Crime

KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) – A 35-year-old Michigan man will spend five months in prison after pleading guilty to a wildlife trafficking offense which involved the poaching of baby alligators and more.

Joseph Franko pleaded guilty to trafficking offenses involving alligators, tropical fish and sea fans.

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez in Key West also ordered Franko to serve five months of home confinement after his prison release.

Authorities say Franko and 80-year-old Richard Perrin conspired to import the wildlife from Florida to a business in Romulus, Mich., called Tropicorium that sells marine life and reptiles. Perrin was previously sentenced to three years of probation and fined $15,000.

On one occasion, the two men sold a baby alligator and illegally taken sea fans to an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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