FARMINGDALE – A Monmouth County man has been sentenced to three years of probation, with six months of home confinement after falsely labeling a package “toy” when instead it contained 10 live iguanas, officials said.
On November 7, 2017, 44-year-old Jason Ksepka of Farmingdale was shipping out a package via U.S. Priority Mail Express destined for Hong Kong that held 10 live rhinoceros iguanas inside.
Ksepka had falsely described the contents of the package as “toys” and listed the sender as “Luke Jacobs” on a U.S. Postal Service International Shipping Label and Customs Form that accompanied the package.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors intercepted the package on November 8, 2017, and recovered the animals.
Officials said Ksepka was paid $500 by someone to falsely label the package and ship it to Hong Kong. The same person also paid Ksepka $500 the year before to ship approximately 10 additional rhinoceros iguanas to Hong Kong.
Ksepka pleaded guilty on September 21, 2021, to the charge of one count of violating the Lacey Act by falsely labeling an international shipment of wildlife.
In addition to probation, Ksepka was ordered to cease engaging in the “take” of wildlife such as harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, trapping, capturing, or collecting wildlife or attempting to engage in such conduct.
He is also ordered to refrain from the import, export, transport, sale, purchase, or barter of any wildlife.
As part of his plea, Ksepka agreed to pay a fine of $1,000 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lacey Act Reward Fund.