Lizard King Michael Van Nostrand Sentenced To 8 Months In Prison, Fined $100,000Van Nostrand was found guilty of illegally acquiring and selling about 3,500 Florida three-stripe mud turtles.

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Lizard King Michael Van Nostrand Sentenced To 8 Months In Prison, Fined $100,000

Van Nostrand was sentenced to eight months in prison back in 1998 for wildlife smuggling.

Van Nostrand, 55, was also ordered to immediately pay a fine of $100,000. That money will be paid directly to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.

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Michael Van Nostrand, the man known as the “Lizard King” and who was sentenced to eight months in prison back in 1998 for smuggling protected wildlife, has been sentenced to seven months in prison and three years of supervised release for illegally acquiring and selling about 3,500 Florida three-stripe mud turtles (Kinosternon baurii).

Van Nostrand, 55, was also ordered to immediately pay a fine of $100,000. That money will be paid directly to the Lacey Act Reward Fund. The Davie, Florida resident also is prohibited from engaging in the wildlife trade for the three years of his supervised release.


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The court cited the smuggler’s health issues as the only reason he was not given a higher sentence. Van Nostrand faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Van Nostrand’s company, Strictly Reptiles, Inc. was fined $150,000 payable immediately to the Lacey Act Reward Fund, and was given five years probation. The company will also be overseen by an independent monitor/auditor.


Lizard King Michael Van Nostrand Charged With Illegally Trafficking Wildlife


Van Nostrand was the subject of the 2008 book “The Lizard King” by Bryan Christy, which chronicles Van Nostrand’s smuggling activities decades ago and that of his pursuer, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Chip Bepler.

You can read an interview with Christy conducted by Russ Case, the late editor of REPTILES magazine, here.

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