|Ivory seized in U.S. Victor Gordon. USFW|
First, Mr. Gordon will point out to this Court that the Government has overstated the centrality of ivory to Mr. Gordon's life, business dealings, and proposed real estate sales. Second, Mr. Gordon will remind this Court that advanced age in itself can be a reason for mitigation, especially when in conjunction with health issues of the sort that Mr. Gordon deals with on a daily basis. Finally, Mr. Gordon will rebut the Government's argument to sentence Mr. Gordon to as much incarceration as defendants in other ivory smuggling cases, including related cases.
An appropriate sentence must reflect, in particular, (i) the seriousness of this offense, which is increasingly the focus of national and global law enforcement and policy efforts; (ii) the importance of general deterrence, which courts have recognized has special relevance in this context; (iii) the unusually large amount of illegal ivory involved in this case; (iv) the duration of the crime, which stretched for nearly a decade; (v) the manner in which the crime was committed, including the fact that the defendant, on multiple occasions, paid a coconspirator to obtain ivory directly from Africa and smuggle it into the United States; and (vi) the defendant’s significantly greater culpability relative to the six defendants previously sentenced by the Court in a related case, United States v. Sylla, et al.The court sided with LaVerne.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch remarked that “preventing the flow of illegal ivory through and within our borders” is an important American commitment. “This prosecution–which resulted in the seizure and forfeiture of one of the largest known caches of illegal elephant ivory in the United States and the imprisonment of the person who acquired and attempted to profit from it – is emblematic of that commitment.”
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