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FWC shuts down illegal monkey sales


After two months of investigation, a black-market monkey operation in northwest Miami was closed down by a team of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers and investigators.

Jorge A. Garcia (DOB 10/28/58) had been operating a business breeding and selling several species of monkeys.

“This business has been operating for seven years,” said Capt. David Dipre, area investigations supervisor for the FWC. “We have been looking into it and were, fortunately, able to shut it down.”

Anyone wishing to possess, exhibit or sell monkeys in Florida must be properly licensed. This ensures that the animals are treated humanely and kept in healthy conditions, and that all humans interacting with the animals remain safe.

“This business was not only selling the monkeys without a license, but selling them to unlicensed individuals as well,” Dipre said. “So, people were receiving these animals without the proper training and knowledge to care for them. Also, the buyers were violating the law themselves, perhaps unknowingly.”

Twenty-eight monkeys, as well as other wildlife, were seized and placed in licensed facilities.

The people running the operation face charges of possession of wildlife without a permit, sale of wildlife without a permit, sale or transfer of wildlife to an unlicensed person, caging violations and records-keeping violations. These could lead to fines and/or jail time.

If you know of or suspect any similar violations, please report them to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 888-404-3922 or texting Tip@MyFWC.com.