2 Plead Guilty To Illegal Rhino Horn Trafficking

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two people have pleaded guilty to international trafficking of endangered rhinoceros horn to China and Vietnam.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Friday that 49-year-old Vinh Chung “Jimmy” Kha and 26-year-old Felix Kha pleaded guilty to five felony counts related to smuggling $1 million to $2.5 million worth of rhino horn between 2010 and 2012.

Additionally, Jimmy Kha’s company, Win Lee Corp., pleaded guilty to two felony counts.

The defendants said they paid as much as $7,000 a pound for the horn and in turn sold it in Asia, where it is turned into special libation cups and is used in traditional medicine.

Two other men last month pleaded guilty to their roles in the trafficking operation.

Rhino populations have declined 90 percent over the past 40 years.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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