News and Updates

PBA of NYS Commends Gov. Cuomo for Tough Stance on Illegal Ivory

Thursday, March 09, 2017

For Immediate Release: 

March 8, 2017

The Police Benevolent Association of New York State Law Enforcement (PBA of NYS) commended the governor, the legislature, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and environmental conservation officers for their work in securing a felony conviction in this case of illegal ivory sales.

The corporation that owns Landmark Gallery in Manhattan was charged in September of 2016 following an investigation under an amended 2014 law increasing penalties for selling elephant ivory. Class D felonies are punishable by up to two to seven years in prison, but the judge spared prison for the brothers who co-own the business, Behrooz Torkian and Hersel Torkian.

See the DEC news release here.

Poachers who sell the ivory on a global black market, slaughter about 96 African elephants each day, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

“We applaud the governor’s vision and the legislature for their work to stem the global ivory poaching trade that led to this investigation and conviction,” said Jason DeAngelis, PBA of NYS EnCon police officers director. “New York is one of the world’s most active ports for the illegal ivory trade, and it’s gratifying to know that EnCon officers have the state’s support as we combat this activity.”

PBA of NYS Executive Director and Counsel Dan De Federicis also lauded the state for providing the legislation and the resources that led to the investigation and conviction.

“Gov. Cuomo has been a world leader in fighting environmental crimes and his support for the environmental conservation officers is admirable; it is needed now more than ever,” he said. “We are eager to continue to bring the issue of the illegal ivory trade to the public eye as we pursue and investigate others committing these crimes.”

The PBA of New York State is the exclusive bargaining agent for the New York State University (SUNY) Police, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, the New York State Park Police, and the New York State Forest Rangers. Our members police and protect New York State’s public universities and colleges; state parks and historic sites; and they enforce state laws and protect our lands and forests and ensure environmental safety and quality throughout the state.