Anchorage man charged with wildlife trafficking

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - An Anchorage man is charged by information on two counts of wildlife trafficking misdemeanors.

    According to court documents, 70-year-old Anchorage man Uzi Levi allegedly purchased six non-handicrafted Pacific walrus tusks and one three-tusked non-handicrafted Pacific walrus head mount from an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    In June 2020, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service observed what appeared to be an Alaskan Native male carrying a two-tusked, non-handicrafted walrus head mount into the car rental business office owned by Levi and then leave without it.

    A few weeks later, an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent went to Levi’s car rental business and inquired about renting a vehicle.

    He explained that he didn’t have a lot of money and asked if there were other ways to rent a vehicle, such as trade or barter.

    The unidentified person at the business called Levi and handed the phone to the undercover agent. During this call and over the next eight months, Levi and the agent exchanged numerous phone calls and texts about the purchase of non-handicrafted walrus ivory, which resulted in Levi purchasing six non-handicrafted Pacific walrus tusks on July 13, 2020, and one non-handicrafted, three tusked walrus head mount on September 29, 2020.

    Levi is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on December 6, 2021.

    If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

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