Quebec Woman, Vanessa Rondeau Arrested, Charged With Selling And Smuggling Wildlife Skulls
BUFFALO, N.Y (STL.News) U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Vanessa Rondeau, 26, of Montreal, Quebec, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with Lacey Act Trafficking, Lacey Act False Labeling, and smuggling. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendant owns and operates a business called The Old Cavern Boutique in Montreal, which offers for sale a variety of unique curiosity and oddity items, many composed in whole or in part from wildlife. A review of The Old Cavern Boutique’s Facebook page revealed numerous wildlife items for sale, many of which are protected under Federal laws.
On August 29, 2019, Rondeau advertised a taxidermy mounted crow for sale through Facebook for $325. The advertisement included a photograph and instructions to “pm [private message] if interested.” On September 20, 2019, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Special Agent sent the defendant a Facebook private message, in a covert capacity, inquiring about the crow mount.