Friday, April 30, 2010

Donut shop owner pleads guilty to ivory smuggling

In case you missed this item in Wednesday's paper, the owner of Pixie Donuts up in the Vons shopping center reversed his not guilty plea to charges of ivory smuggling.

Earlier in March, shop owner Moun Chau plead not guilty to the charges that he smuggled ivory from endangered African elephants into the US in violation of federal laws and international treaties. If convicted, he could have faced a 25-year jail sentence.

On March 24, Chau entered a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. By admitting guilt in the case, his maximum sentence was lowered to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 18.

Pixie Donuts is still open for business and has been for over 20 years. We've already heard from at least one loyal customers who stands firmly behind the business owners despite Chau's involvement in the illicit ivory carving trade.

Here's a photo of some of the ivory Fish and Wildlife Services officers found in the back room of Pixies Donuts during a search warrant in 2006.

1 comment:

  1. For those who might have missed loyal customer Hal Hargrave's (so he calls himself) screed, it's worth a read, first for the chuckles, then for the pity that such a person could be so consumed with anger and envy that he could begrudge other people "...buying water in a bottle saving children in some far away third world country" when they could be stuffing doughnuts in their faces instead, doughnuts made in a shop where smuggled ivory was kept in the backroom until the feds showed up. Hargrave's letter is a smoking gun of pettiness and peevishness and petulance...all that has become wrong with this country. It is a study in carrying childishness well into adulthood, well past the time one should learn to think critically and assume moral/ethical beliefs that derive from a sense of justice and not from a fairy tale in some sacred book. I thought, upon first read, that Hargrave's letter was actually written by a child. The syntax is sloppy, suggesting someone who had not graduated high-school. But then I remembered how lax we Americans have become about education, and how much better it is to be dumb than risk appearing…dare I say it?..intellectual.