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Chinese turtle smuggler accused in Rock Hill of drug use while out on bond

Man smuggles turtles in and out of the U.S.

SC turtle smuggling ring made a lot of money in illegal trafficking, feds say. Here are some of the turtles involved.
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SC turtle smuggling ring made a lot of money in illegal trafficking, feds say. Here are some of the turtles involved.

A convicted turtle smuggler, part of a global caper to move rare reptiles across the globe, was arrested in Rock Hill late Wednesday and accused of using drugs as he waits to be sent to federal prison, officials said.

Joseph Logan Brooks, 29, was caught by Rock Hill Police Department officers on a warrant from federal marshals.

Brooks failed to meet bond requirements after he pleaded guilty last month, said federal prosecutor Winston Holliday.

Brooks was caught at a Cummings Street address, where he had been staying, Rock Hill police said.

Brooks pleaded guilty in September to accepting turtles from Hong Kong and mainland China into South Carolina to be resold to collectors in the United States, court documents show.

Brooks was the go-between, who sent protected American turtles overseas, court documents show.

Three other men pleaded guilty in the case.

The suspects packed the turtles in noodles and candy to hide the animals during shipping.

Brooks had established residency in Rock Hill after pleading guilty in early September, records show. Brooks awaits a sentencing that could be up to five years, according to court documents.

Brooks violated terms of the bond by using drugs, failing to register for drug treatment and submitting himself for court-ordered drug testing, Holliday said.

Brooks’ bond was revoked late Thursday by a federal judge and he now is in federal custody.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald
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