By Wilson Wong
Seven people were charged in a trafficking operation that trapped thousands of flying squirrels in Florida with an estimated retail value of over $1 million and sold them to buyers in Asia, state wildlife officials said.
Flying squirrels, a protected wild animal in Florida, are sold internationally in the pet trade.
Six suspects have been arrested while one remains a fugitive. The seven face a variety of felony charges that include racketeering, money laundering and dealing in stolen property.
Suspects charged in the case include:
- Rodney Crendell Knox, 66, Bushnell, Florida
- Kenneth Lee Roebuck, 59, Lake Panasoffkee, Florida
- Donald Lee Harrod Jr., 49, Bushnell, Florida
- Vester Ray Taylor Jr., 40, Webster, Florida
- Jong Yun Baek, 56, Marietta, Georgia
- Ervin Woodyard Jr, 40, Greenville, Georgia
- An unnamed fugitive