Golf architect Keith Foster faces a five-year prison sentence after he plead guilty on Wednesday in a Virginia courtroom to illegaly smuggling between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of endangered animals.
Foster and his wife violated the Lacey Act - a conservation law in the U.S that prohibits illegally obtained wildlife, fish or plants - when they owned a store known as The Output in Virginia.
Their store was selling foreign-sourced merchandise that included wildlife products made from endangered species , including sea turtles, sawfish and crocodiles.
Foster was aware of his illegal actions as court documents revealed that he relied on a shipping company to falsify import records to hide inspection by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as other law enforcement agencies.
In December 2016, Foster discussed with who he thought was a customer, but was actually an undercover agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the details of his illegal trading and also told the agent how he intended to smuggle sawfish blades even though it was illegal to import them.
Foster is expected to face sentencing on March 8, 2019 and he was forced to hand over $275,000 in cash and other illegal items from his stores.