Queens gallery owner busted for selling sculpture made from banned elephant ivory (Queens, NY)


Laura Dimon, NY Daily News

Date Published

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What a Dumbo.

Authorities busted a Queens gallery owner for selling a sculpture made from banned elephant ivory, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Monday.

Robert Rogal, 70, the owner of Ro Gallery in Long Island City, is charged with illegal trafficking after he sold the ballerina sculpture to undercover investigators from the Department of Environmental Conservation for more than $2,500 in June.

Jaime Villamarin, 45, a salesman for the appointment-only gallery, was also arrested.

It’s a felony to sell more than $1,500 in elephant ivory without a license or permit from the DEC, officials said.

Before Gov. Cuomo cracked down on the illegal trade of elephant ivory in New York in 2014, New York City saw upwards of $23 billion in sales each year, officials said.

The defendants face up to four years in prison if convicted.