An retired member of the Canadian Mounted Police is facing five years in a Maine prison for money laundering and smuggling millions of dollars worth of protected narwhal tusks into the United States, reports the CBC.
U.S. prosecutors say Gregory Logan, 60, smuggled 300 tusks from Canada into Maine in false compartments of his car, where upon arrival, they were shipped to buyers throughout the U.S. Logan was working as a Mountie when he began the operation in 2000. He retired from the force in 2003.
"Unlawful wildlife trade like this undermines efforts by federal, state and foreign governments to protect and restore populations of species like the narwhal, a majestic creature of the sea," said acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Logan was charged along with two U.S. residents. One man was sentenced to serve 33 months, while the charges against the other were dropped.
Narwhals are protected in the United States and Canada. Their tusks are valued for their use in carvings and in jewelry.