Brooklyn man pleads guilty after selling body parts of exotic animals

A man pleaded guilty after selling body parts of exotic animals, the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said.

Authorities say Usher Weiss, 26, violated environmental conservation laws and was fined $5,000.

The District Attorney said that on Nov. 2 around 8:15 p.m., an undercover officer for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation met Weiss at a building on 49th Street in Borough Park. The officer gave Weiss $900 for a cougar head mount in the basement of the building. 

Then, Weiss offered the undercover officer a full cheetah head mount for $10,000.  

(Courtesy of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)

On Dec. 5 at around 8:30 p.m., the undercover officer met Weiss at a different building on 53rd Street in Borough Park. Weiss handed the officer a cheetah head mount, the skull of a big cat, the skin of a pinniped pup, and a bird mount.

Weiss had several other exotic animal parts, including a full alligator taxidermy, a tiger skin, a cheetah skin, and an elephant's foot. 

The District Attorney's office said he bought the items on websites, including Craigslist and OfferUp, and surrendered the items to the DEC last month.

"We’re committed to stopping the illegal wildlife trade in our communities, and by prosecuting cases like this, we're not just enforcing the law—we're sending a strong message that protecting endangered species from harm is a priority," District Attorney Gonzalez said.