New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!
CONVICTED: Was justice served?
more information on voting
When you vote, you are voting on whether or not the punishment fit the crime, NOT on the severity of the case itself. If you feel the sentence was very weak, you would vote 1 star. If you feel the sentence was very strong, you would vote 5 stars.
Please vote honestly and realistically. These ratings will be used a a tool for many future programs, including a "Peoples Choice" of best and worst sentencing, DA and judge "report cards", and more. Try to resist the temptation to vote 1 star on every case, even if you feel that 100 years in prison isnt enough.
Saturday, Aug 31, 2002County: Milwaukee
» Leong Tian Kum
» Reid E Turowski
Leong Tian Kum was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, WI, to serve 41 months in federal prison for smuggling more than 150 protected reptiles, valued at more than $200,000 from Thailand to buyers in the U.S. and for laundering the money he received for the animals. Kum, a citizen of Singapore who ran his smuggling operation from Bangkok, Thailand, will also be deported from the U.S. upon release from prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman departed upward from the sentencing guidelines, citing evidence presented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigators that Kum conspired to smuggle women from Thailand to Singapore to work as prostitutes. Adelman also ordered Kum to repay the government $8,120, the amount federal agents spent on making undercover purchases from Kum.
Kum, 34, and Reid E. Turowski, an exotic animal dealer in Waukesha, WI, were indicted July 22, 2003, on 13 counts alleging conspiracy to smuggle, falsely label wildlife, trade in endangered species, and money laundering. Kum pled guilty November 26, 2003, to conspiracy and money laundering charges. Turowski pled guilty December 23, 2003, to conspiracy to smuggle, falsely label wildlife, and trade in endangered species. He was sentenced April 16, 2004.
Between September 2002, and June 23, 2003, Kum and his associates in Thailand and Singapore obtained protected species of reptiles and other wildlife and shipped them via FEDEX to customers in the U.S. in violation of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and U.S. wildlife importation law. Kum smuggled dozens of exotic reptiles to Turowski, falsely listing the contents as "wooden crafts" or other legal materials.
He also used an alias when providing shipper information. Reptile species sent to Turowski included Radiated tortoises, Indian star tortoises, Burmese star tortoises, snake neck turtles, Hermann's tortoises, pancake tortoises, fly river turtles, Borneo black leaf turtles, and Chinese water dragons. Turowski then sold them to reptile fanciers through his reptile business as "Captive Bred Specialties" in Waukesha and over the Internet.
Kum instructed his customers to wire transfer payments to a bank account in Bangkok, Thailand belonging to his girlfriend. He instructed Turowski to send payments, in the form of cashier's checks, to a third party in New Jersey, who then cashed the checks and wired the funds to the bank account in Bangkok.
Kum's sentence is the result of a cooperative investigation by Special agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security), and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Frohling prosecuted the government's case.
« More cases in Milwaukee County, WI