Chinese national charged with leading ivory smuggling ring

BOSTON (AP) — A Chinese national has been arraigned in federal court in Boston on charges he led a conspiracy to illegally smuggle $700,000 worth of goods made from banned rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and coral.

Guan Zong Chen was arrested last year while traveling from China to Australia, which extradited him to the U.S. on a 2015 indictment. He pleaded not guilty Monday.

The indictment alleges Chen bought the artifacts at auction houses in California, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Texas. It says he conspired with an unidentified Chinese national to pick up the items and mail some to a shipping business in Concord, Massachusetts, which repackaged and falsely labeled them.

Trade in rhinoceros horn, elephant ivory and coral has been regulated since 1976 under an international treaty.

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