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Huntington Man Busted for "Smuggling Illegal Butterflies"

By Samantha Carey

A Commack man has been indicted in federal Court on six counts of conspiracy to smuggle wildlife into the United States, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Charles Limmer, of Commack, allegedly trafficked deceased protected butterflies, also known as “Birdwings.” These butterflies are known for their large size, scooped wings and fast flight patterns.

Limmer owned the “Limmer Business,” which would import and export, purchase and sell wildlife. He obtained this license in 2016, but the Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") suspended his license in 2022.

US law requires importers and exporters of exotic wildlife to obtain a license and declare the wildlife to the FWS, including additional documents and other regulations by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Lacey Act.

From Oct. 2022 to Sept. 2023, Limmer allegedly illegally imported and exported over $200,000 worth of shipments of deceased wildlife.

He then illegally sold these specimens on Internet platforms to people across the world, labeling the shipments as “decorative wall coverings,” “origami paper craft” and “wall decorations,” according to the US Attorney.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of over 1,000 butterflies, moths and other insects. If Limmer is convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.


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