Pacifica man going to prison for selling rare taxidermied wildlife 

A Pacifica man whose predilection for trading in taxidermied rare wildlife captured the attention of federal agents in 2009 was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

James Dickson, 57, pleaded guilty in April to knowingly selling endangered and protected species on Craigslist.

Prosecutors said he offered taxidermy mounts of a Siberian tiger for $15,000, a polar bear for $6,500 and a black panther for $4,500, along with a cheetah rug for $900, among others.

As part of a federal crackdown on the illegal trade of endangered and protected species, both live and dead, on the Internet — worth an estimated $10 billion to $20 billion per year — an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent bought a $2,200 bald eagle from Dickson in November 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his six-month sentence in federal prison, Dickson will have to return the $2,200 to the Fish and Wildlife Service and “forfeit numerous taxidermy mounts of wildlife worth tens of thousands of dollars,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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