SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco-area pastor who pleaded guilty to helping smuggle young leopard sharks from California to aquariums in Europe and the United States has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
Kevin Thompson, 48, a Unification Church pastor in San Leandro, was one of six men charged with harvesting thousands of sharks smaller than 36 inches, which are protected by law. The five others have also pleaded guilty.
In the sentencing, which took place on Monday, Thompson was also ordered to pay restitution of $100,000.
According to the indictment, about 465 leopard sharks were sold to pet distributors in the United States, the Netherlands and Britain. Leopard sharks can grow up to about 6 feet (1.83 metres).
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