Pennsylvania man charged with trafficking 3,400 turtles - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pennsylvania man charged with trafficking 3,400 turtles

David Sommers, a former journalist, is said to have made more than $1 million trafficking the animals. (Source: WPVI/CNN) David Sommers, a former journalist, is said to have made more than $1 million trafficking the animals. (Source: WPVI/CNN)

LEVITTOWN, PA (WPVI/CNN) - Former newspaper reporter David Sommers appeared in federal court Wednesday to face charges related to trafficking turtles.

Prosecutors said he gathered diamondback terrapins and their eggs from the wild in coastal New Jersey.

He then allegedly sold the animals across North America, shipping some of them to Canada from his Pennsylvania home.

The turtles are prized in the pet industry because of the attractive diamond-shaped markings on their shells.

But they are protected both by New Jersey law and an international treaty.

Sommers, 62, allegedly started small and grew his trade to thousands of turtles.

"The indictment charges that in 2014, the defendant poached turtles from New Jersey and smuggled them into Canada," said District Attorney Joan Burne. "The indictment further charges hundreds of turtle sales during the course of 2017 and further charges 3,400 additional turtles intended for sale in 2017."

Experts said Sommers may have made more than $1 million by selling the turtles.

He is pleading not guilty.

Copyright 2018 WPVI via CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Raycom reportsRaycom reportsMore>>

  • Migos' Offset arrested on felony gun charges in Georgia

    Migos' Offset arrested on felony gun charges in Georgia

    Friday, July 20 2018 10:16 PM EDT2018-07-21 02:16:05 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-07-21 21:32:41 GMT
    Offset of the hip-hop group Migos is facing two felony gun charges. (Photo by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)Offset of the hip-hop group Migos is facing two felony gun charges. (Photo by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)

    Offset of the hip-hop group Migos is facing two felony gun charges after he and his bodyguard were pulled over outside of Atlanta.

    More >>

    Offset of the hip-hop group Migos is facing two felony gun charges after he and his bodyguard were pulled over outside of Atlanta.

    More >>
  • Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

    Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 5:23 PM EDT2018-07-21 21:23:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
  • Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:26 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:26:09 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 5:23 PM EDT2018-07-21 21:23:08 GMT
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York.  President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

    More >>

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

    More >>
Powered by Frankly