WASHINGTON (AP) - Three people have been charged with participating in an international smuggling ring that traffics in the horns of endangered black rhinos.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Justice Department have launched "Operation Crash" in an effort to stop the black market trade. The operation is named after the term for a rhino herd.
This week, federal grand juries in Newark, N.J., and Miami indicted Zhifei Li for alleged smuggling. He allegedly conspired to smuggle more than 20 rhinoceros horns from the U.S. to Hong Kong. Shusen Wei was charged with offering to bribe a federal agent in the Li case. In New York, a third man, Qing Wang, was charged Wednesday for allegedly smuggling libation cups carved from rhinoceros horns from New York to Li via Hong Kong.