KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — The president of an Idaho aquarium convicted in the illegal shipping of protected sharks and rays from Florida has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
A federal judge in Key West on Monday imposed the sentence on 40-year-old Ammon Covino, president of Idaho Aquarium in Boise and co-founder of Portland Aquarium in Oregon. Covino is also barred during two years of probation from working in a wildlife exhibit.
His brother, Vince Covino, is opening an aquarium in a closed furniture store in Northwest Austin this month.
Court documents show Ammon Covino admitted involvement in illegally obtaining and shipping three spotted eagle rays and two lemon sharks for the Idaho Aquarium.
Intercepted communications showed Covino told Florida shippers to ignore the law.
The aquarium itself also pleaded guilty, agreeing to pay a $10,000 fine and donate $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.
The Austin Aquarium opens Dec. 12 to annual pass holders and Dec. 22 to the general public.