New Jersey man gets prison term for smuggling narwhal tusks
BANGOR, Maine (AP) – A New Jersey man accused of smuggling narwhal tusks is going to federal prison for nearly three years.
A federal judge in Maine imposed the 33-month term on Andrew Zarauskas of Union for conspiracy, smuggling and money laundering. He also must forfeit six narwhal tusks, a narwhal skull and about $85,000.
Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea for their spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They’re protected by the U.S. and Canada.
Prosecutors said the tusks were smuggled into Maine from Canada and shipped to Zarauskas and a Tennessee man.
Zarauskas’ lawyer, Steve Smith, said his client thought he’d bought legal tusks. Smith said there’ll be an appeal. His 61-year-old client was given a three-month delay to report to prison because of “health considerations.”