Between January and February 2010, Kenneth Brian Cobb poached eight saguaro cacti from U.S. federal land in Arizona and sold them for approximately USD 2,000 per specimen. A year later, he exported two saguaro cacti from the U.S. to Austria without a valid permit. In 2013, the defendant was found guilty of violating the Endangered Species Act and theft of government property. He was sentenced to five years’ probation with eight months of weekend incarceration. Furthermore, he paid USD 32,000 in restitution.
Saguaro cacti are a vital element for their ecosystems and a wide variety of wildlife species depend on it for their survival. At the same time, the cactus is a symbol representing North America’s Sonoran Desert. They are being sought after for collection and decoration.
The defendant was further sentenced to 60 months supervised probation with eight months of weekend incarceration.
District Court of Arizona
U.S. Department of Justice: Press Release / Bulletin p. 62