Skip to Content

Eugene man sentenced in federal court for illegally importing, exporting live scorpions

U.S. Dept. of Justice

MEDFORD, Ore. (KTVZ) — A Eugene man who formerly resided in Southern Oregon was sentenced in federal court Wednesday for violating the Lacey Act by illegally importing and exporting hundreds of live scorpions.

Darren Dennis Drake, 39, was sentenced to two years’ federal probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine payable to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.

According to court documents, between September 4, 2017 and March 21, 2018, Drake imported and exported dozens of live scorpions from and to contacts in Germany without first obtaining an import-export license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

On one parcel intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Drake falsely labeled the package contents as “chocolates,” prosecutors said.

Drake also mailed or received several hundred live scorpions from other U.S. states, including Michigan and Texas, in violation of federal mailing laws.  U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Kevin Sarnoff said, "Apparently, there are people who collect this sort of thing."

On February 23 of this year, Drake was charged by criminal information with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. On March 14, he waived indictment and pleaded guilty to the single charge.

U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FWS Office of Law Enforcement with assistance from CBP and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by John C. Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting America’s wildlife from poaching, illegal commercialization, and other kinds of wildlife crime. If you have information related to a wildlife crime, please call 1-844-FWS-TIPS (1-844-397-8477) or email fws_tips@fws.gov.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

KTVZ news sources

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content