Three more charged in Cape area tiger killings

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

DETROIT -- Three indictments were unsealed Tuesday charging three Michigan men with trafficking endangered animals, including tigers killed in Cape Girardeau.

George F. Riley, 69, of Farmington Hills, Mich., is accused of buying two tiger hides and one black leopard hide in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Leonard A. Kruszewski, 40, of Milford, Mich., is accused of purchasing one tiger hide.

This is the third phase of federal indictments to be brought in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ongoing investigation of an alleged ring of exotic animal dealers. Undercover agents members of the group bought, sold and killed endangered animals for their meat and pelts in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

On Nov. 8, federal conspiracy charges were filed against Todd and Vicki Lanz of Cape Girardeau in the 1998 deaths of four tigers.

Also indicted were Freddy Wilmoth of Gentry, Ark., Stoney Elam of Fort Gibson, Okla., and Tim Rivers of Citra, Fla.

In January, Woody Thompson, Jr. of Three Rivers, Mich., pleaded guilty to brokering the interstate sale of three tiger skins.

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