Mich. man sentenced to 5 months in prison for poaching baby alligators, other wildlife

Feds say Joseph Franko conspired to illegally import wildlife from South Fla.

Headline Goes Here
This is one of the baby alligators that Joseph Franko tried to sell in Michigan.

KEY WEST, Fla. - A Michigan man has been sentenced to five months in prison for his role in a South Florida wildlife trafficking operation that included the poaching of baby alligators.

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez in Key West also ordered Jospeh Franko, 35, to serve five months of home confinement after his prison release.

Franko pleaded guilty to wildlife trafficking offenses involving alligators, tropical fish and sea fans.

Federal prosecutors said Franko and Richard Perrin, 80, conspired to illegally import the wildlife from Florida to a business in Romulus, Mich., called Tropicorium that sells marine life and reptiles.

Perrin was previously sentenced to three years of probation and fined $15,000.

On one occasion, the two men sold a baby alligator and illegally taken sea fans to an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.