Idaho Aquarium fined $10K, placed on probation for three years

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - The Idaho Aquarium has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation after its former directors illegally harvested marine wildlife.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says a U.S. District judge sentenced the Boise-based aquarium to pay the fine, face three years of probation, face annual audits and contribute $50,000 to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

According to the United States Attorney's office, Ammon Covino and Chris Conk, directors for the aquarium, were sentenced in December for illegally harvesting spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks from an individual in Florida.

Court documents allege that in April 2013, Covino sent a text message saying he was unable to obtain the permit and asked whether it was possible he could "sneak" the rays to him in Idaho.

In a phone conversation with the owner of the animals in Florida, court documents allege, Covino responded ... "just start doing it...who gives a sh**, man."

Government officials also say the two directors, despite having the valid permits, wanted to purchase the lemon sharks "on the down low."

KBOI 2News has reached out to Idaho Aquarium for comment, but has yet to hear back.