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Ukrainian man sentenced in plot to smuggle sperm whale teeth into and out of U.S.

January 11, 2011 |  1:28 pm

Sperm whales

BOSTON — A Ukrainian man has been sentenced in federal court in Massachusetts after admitting to a plot to smuggle sperm whale ivory into and out of the United States.

Thirty-nine-year-old Andriy Mikhalyov of Odessa, Ukraine, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to buy, sell and smuggle sperm whale teeth. He was sentenced to time incarcerated since his arrest, a period of more than nine months.

Sperm whales are an endangered species. The teeth are used in making scrimshaw, in which the ivory is etched to create a piece of art. Authorities said the case should help deter others from preying on endangered and threatened species.

Co-defendant Charles Manghis of Nantucket, a commercial artist, was convicted last year. He is awaiting sentencing.


-- Associated Press

Photo: A sperm whale calf swims next to its mother and other adult whales in a 2001 photo. Credit: Chris Bangs / Associated Press

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