WICHITA, Kan. - A Wichita man has been indicted in federal court for violating the Lacey Act.
Federal prosecutors say Ret Thach is accused of violating the act, after he attempted to purchase tiger pelts. Thach is accused of being in contact with a man in Wisconsin, who he offered $8,000 to transport the pelts to Wichita.
Prosecutors say Thach also agreed to pay the travel expenses for the man, who in reality was an undercover agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The act is meant to protect endangered species by outlawing the purchase of endangered animals, their body parts, or items made from them. According to court records, the agent informed Thach that transporting the pelts to Wichita was against the law.
The indictment alleges that Thach told the agent that he alread owned “a lion and a lot of bears” and wanted to go ahead with the purchase. He reportedly told the agent he wanted to pelts to decorate his home office.
If convicted, Thach faces up to 5 years in federal prison, and a fine up to $250,000. The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.