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GLIN==> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Receives InternationalWildlife Enforcement Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         Contact: Hugh Vickery
November 8, 2002              in Santiago, 011-56-9-605- 7360 or
011-56-9-685-5222 (News Media Only)

               U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent
             Receives International Wildlife Enforcement Award

      (SANTIAGO, CHILE) B Three international wildlife conservation
organizations honored U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Edward
Grace with the prestigious Clark R. Bavin Law Enforcement Award at a
ceremony at the 12th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
      The Animal Welfare Institute, the Species Survival Network, and the
Monitor Consortium cited Grace for his work as a special agent
investigating illegal smuggling of endangered wildlife into New York City.
The three organizations sponsor the award, which is named after Clark
Bavin, who served as chief of the Service=s law enforcement division from
1972 until his death in 1990, and recognizes outstanding work in combating
wildlife crime.
      ASpecial Agent Grace recently concluded the dismantling of a
smuggling operation that had brought over 20,000 pounds of endangered
sturgeon roe, with an estimated value in excess of $12 million into the
United States,@ CITES Secretary General Willem Wijnstekers said in
announcing the award. He also noted that Grace=s recent investigations have
resulted in large seizures of sea turtle eggs, the meat of endangered
primates, and elephant ivory.
      Assistant Secretary of Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig
Manson attended the ceremony and will present the award, which includes a
sculpture of an elephant donated by American wildlife artist John Perry, to
Grace at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
      AWe are especially proud that one of our agents received this award,
which is named for the man who guided Fish and Wildlife Service law
enforcement during most of the 1970s and 1980s when it took on many new
responsibilities, particularly in the area of international trade and
global conservation,@ Manson said.
      Grace=s accomplishments include leading investigations that broke up
smuggling rings that deal in caviar, elephant ivory and sea turtle eggs, as
well as items made from gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and other endangered
species, said Kevin Adams, chief of the Service=s Office of Law
Enforcement, who also attended the ceremony.
      These investigations led to the conviction of the president of a
Russian caviar company for smuggling caviar into the United States as well
as several individuals who were smuggling sea turtle eggs and sea turtle
and endangered monkey meat to New York restaurants. He also led efforts to
break up an ivory smuggling ring and seize $350,000 in ivory that was
headed for the U.S. African art market. The two ring leaders were convicted
and sent to prison.
      ALaws and treaties that protect wildlife are only as effective as
their enforcement,@ Adams said. AEd=s investigative work demonstrates how
important continued vigilance is to ensuring the viability of animal and
plant species around the world.@
      Four other law enforcement officers from around the world also
received the Bavin Award at the ceremony. Captain Ibrahim A. Ogle, head of
the Kenya Wildlife Service Airwing, was honored for his leadership in using
aircraft to combat elephant poachers, including risking his life repeatedly
in confrontations with heavily armed gangs.
      Major Carmen Castro of the Costa Rican Coast Guard was recognized for
her work to stop illegal fishing and hunting of sea turtles, sharks, fish
and molluscs and to shut down illegal trafficking in parrots and other
birds by sea.
      Karl Karugaba, a Ugandan wildlife officer, was honored for collecting
intelligence that led to seizure of 6.5 tons of elephant ivory and 40,810
rough cut ivory signature seals in Singapore earlier this year.
      Richard Charette, chief of wildlife inspections for the Canadian
Wildlife Service, was recognized for his leadership in a wide range of
wildlife law enforcement areas during his career, including developing
training programs for law enforcement and customs officers.


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