DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

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DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

Recent ECO Actions for December

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2018, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 21,668 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 20,665 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

"From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don't receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment."

Guilty Plea in Ivory Bust
On Dec.19, Doris Ellen Eber of Brighton pleaded guilty in Monroe County Court to one count of illegal commercialization of elephant ivory in excess of $1,500, an E felony under Environmental Conservation Law. A New York State law enacted in 2014, makes it illegal to sell nearly all elephant ivory in the state, as well as mammoth ivory and rhinoceros horn. In late 2018, DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigator (BECI) Mark Wojtkowiak began an undercover investigation into the illegal sale of elephant ivory via the internet and eventually charged Eber with the crime. Eber was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge, a $5,000 fine in the form of a donation to the World Wildlife Fund, restitution to the state in the amount of $3,240, forfeiture of 13 ivory items seized during the investigation, and a court-mandated DNA fee of $50. The case was prosecuted by the Monroe County District Attorney's office.

For more information about laws related to the possession of ivory (PDF), go to DEC's website.

intricately designed shrine made out of carved ivory horn
Carved elephant ivory shrine seized during investigation

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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