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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C

An Irish man has been extradited to the US for trafficking rhinoceros horns

Patrick Sheridan was originally arrested in the UK in January.

shutterstock_242328274 Shutterstock / Maggy Meyer Shutterstock / Maggy Meyer / Maggy Meyer

AN IRISH MAN has been extradited to the US from Britain and charged with the illegal trafficking of black rhinoceros horns.

Patrick Sheridan was initially arrested in the UK on 9 January of this year pursuant to an American request.

Sheridan was extradited last Friday and appeared in federal court in Waco, Texas yesterday under indictment, along with an unnamed co-defendant, for conspiring to traffic the horns of the black rhinoceros, an endangered species.

“This extradition is a significant step forward in our international efforts to address wildlife trafficking and demonstrates that our international partners are also committed to ending this illegal trade in endangered species,” said US Assistant Attorney General John C Cruden.

Rhino horn trafficking is having a devastating effect on the rhino and the allegations facing this individual are just the type of illegal behavior that is fueling an international market for horns.  We must stop it in its tracks.

The indictment alleges that Sheridan, the co-defendant and a Michael Slattery Jr bought two black rhino horns in Texas before selling them in New York.

The illegal trade of such horns (which are made from keratin, as are human hair and nails) is huge business, particularly in Asia where they are especially prized for their supposed medicinal qualities.

Slattery pleaded guilty to his role in the crime in January 2014 and was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Sheridan’s arraignment and detention hearing is set for 24 September, again in Waco.

If convicted he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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