Washington ivory dealer went undercover to help feds bust Canadian wildlife smuggler

David L. Boone, owner of Boone Trading Co. in Brinnon, Jefferson County, agreed to help federal prosecutors after he was arrested on smuggling charges four years ago.

A Washington ivory and antiquities dealer will serve six months in federal prison after secretly pleading guilty to federal smuggling charges four years ago and then going undercover to help authorities prosecute a former Canadian Mountie described in court documents as “among the most prolific wildlife criminals ever prosecuted in this country.”

According to documents unsealed last week, David L. Boone, owner of Boone Trading Co. in Brinnon, Jefferson County, had been working with federal prosecutors since after he was arrested for the illegal possession of ivory from walruses, sperm whales and, particularly, the tusks of the narwhal, a medium-sized whale commonly called the “unicorn of the sea.”

Boone’s entire prosecution, including his guilty plea in 2013, was sealed while prosecutors in Canada and the U.S. built a case against Gregory Logan, a retired officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who last year pleaded guilty to 10 money-laundering charges in Bangor, Maine.

Court documents indicate Boone was one of several U.S. customers who routinely bought illegal ivory from Logan. Boone was set to testify against Logan before the Canadian pleaded guilty last spring.

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The documents show Boone was also the target of separate investigations into the sale of illegal sperm- whale teeth and walrus skulls and tusks. He pleaded guilty to counts involving the smuggling or possession of narwhal tusks and the whale teeth.

Boone, contacted Monday, said he has tried to make up for his crimes through cooperation and community service.

“I’ve admitted what happened and I’ve cooperated and tried to make it right,” he said. “I was going through a difficult period in my life at the time” and was struggling with addiction, Boone said. “I was not making good decisions.”

The six-month sentence handed down last Thursday by U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton — who allowed Boone to self-report to prison in a few weeks — was “more than fair,” Boone said.

Boone said Boone Trading Co. will remain in business.

Federal prosecutors had sought a 16-month sentence against Boone. His sentencing was delayed for nearly four years to ensure Boone’s cooperation in the case against…

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