Skip to comments.Feds raid Gibson offices (Gibson guitars)
Posted on 11/17/2009 6:33:49 PM PST by Drew68
Federal agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local police today seized wood, guitars, computers and boxes of files from Gibson Guitar's Massman Road manufacturing facility.
Sources say the Nashville-based guitar manufacturer is being investigated for violating the Lacey Act, a key piece of environmental law, for importing endangered species of rosewood from Madagascar.
Rosewood is widely used in the construction of guitars and sells for $5,000 per cubic meter, more than double the price of mahogany. The island nation off Africa's east coast is a key producer of the hardwood, the export of which has links to international criminal activity.
A statement from Gibson released late Tuesday afternoon says the company is "fully co-operating" with the investigation.
"Gibson Guitar is fully cooperating with agents of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service as it pertains to an issue with harvested wood. Gibson is a chain of custody certified buyer who purchases wood from legal suppliers who are to follow all standards. Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO [Henry Juszkiewicz] sits on the board of the Rainforest Alliance and takes the issue of certification very seriously. The company will continue to cooperate fully and assist our federal government with all inquiries and information," the company's statement said.
Madagascar has struggled financially since a January coup and new President Andry Rajoelina issued an executive order in September legalizing the export of rosewood and ebony. The move was decried by environmental groups and political leaders worldwide, as hardwood forests are key to Madagascar's unique ecology and serve as a habitat for a dwindling lemur population.
Sources tell NashvillePost.com Gibson was involved in a scheme that shipped the wood from Madagascar to Germany and then to the United States.
Les Paul is spinning in his grave.
yet the federal government gave Hasan a promotion. Sheesh!
And the US law regulates the behavior of Americans on US soil with the aim of impacting the environment of other countries.
Hey, what stuff are we NOT responsible for....?
Why don't they arrest illegals throwing prayer rugs, diapers, and water bottles all over the southwest desert...?
War on success continues. Film at 11.
Don’t the feds have more important things to do...LIKE STOPPING ISLAMIC TERRORISTS FROM SHOOTING UP MILITARY BASES AND KILLING AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBERS AND CITIZENS?
An outrage an hour from the new Obama clowns!
How long until all guitars are made in China?? .....
Interesting. I never thought of a guitar as wildlife.
Overview of the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. SS 3371-3378)
The Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3371-3378, protects both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations. Most notably, the Act prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold. Thus, the Act underscores other federal, state, and foreign laws protecting wildlife by making it a separate offense to take, possess, transport, or sell wildlife that has been taken in violation of those laws. The Act prohibits the falsification of documents for most shipments of wildlife (a criminal penalty) and prohibits the failure to mark wildlife shipments (civil penalty). The Lacey Act is administered by the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture through their respective agencies. These include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Lacey Act was first introduced by Iowa Congressman John Lacey in the House of Representatives in the spring of 1900. It was signed into law by President William McKinley on May 25, 1900. The original Act was directed more at the preservation of game and wild birds by making it a federal crime to poach game in one state with the purpose of selling the bounty in another. It was also concerned with the potential problems of the introduction of non-native, or exotic species of birds and animals into native ecosystems. Finally, it sought to buttress state laws already in existence for the protection of game and birds.
The Lacey Act has been amended several times since its inception in 1900. The most significant ones occurred in 1969, 1981, and 1988. The 1969 amendments expanded to include amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans. The maximum penalty was increased to $10,000 with possible imprisonment for one year. Additionally, the mental state required for a criminal violation was increased to “knowingly and willfully;” civil penalties were expanded to apply to negligent violations.
In 1981, Congress removed the heightened proof standard of “willfully” from the statute, making “knowingly” the standard. This came in response to an increased illegal trade in fish and wildlife both domestically and abroad. Indigenous plants were also added to the protected species. With regard to penalty, the maximum civil fine was raised to $10,000 and a bifurcated felony/misdemeanor scheme was created under the statute based on the conduct of the offender and the market value of the species at issue. Under the felony portion of the statute, the maximum penalty was set at $20,000 and/or five years imprisonment; misdemeanor violations were set at $10,000 and/or up to one-year imprisonment. The amendments also allowed for warrantless arrest for felony violations under the Act and expansion of the role of federal wildlife agents.
In 1988, the role of guiding or outfitting services were added to cover a new threat to big game species under the ambit of “sale.” Prior to the amendment, big game guides who provided illegal hunts were immune to prosecution for violation based on commercial activity. The amendments also created a separate and distinct violation for the intended falsification of documents pertaining to the exporting, importing, or transporting of wildlife, fish, or plants. The felony provision of this part of the act was amended such that one could be convicted if he or she either knew of the import or export of the species or where he or she was involved in the sale or purchase of wildlife, fish, or plants with a market value greater than $350.
The Lacey Act now stands as one of the broadest and most comprehensive forces in the federal arsenal to combat wildlife crime. With increasing activity in international and domestic wildlife trafficking, the Act has evolved to become an important weapon to protect animals domestically and abroad.
For further discussion on the Lacey Act, see, The Lacey Act: America’s Premier Weapon in the Fight Against Unlawful Wildlife Trafficking, by Robert S. Anderson, 16 Public Land Law Review (Public Land and Resources Law Review) 27, 1995.
Obama’s Jihad on Guitars.
What the heck? Maybe they can used recycled crates and old copper wires to make guitars that nobody will buy. After all what does the private sector know about guitar making.
We need the "Guitar maker in chief" the head luthier to tell us what kind of guitars we need, who needs to own them and what kind of wood they should be made of.
What a joke. We've got gang bangers killing each other by the hundreds, thug union punks scamming millions of dollars from municipalities, and Islamo facists posting and stating that they want to destroy America, but the real criminals are the people at Gibson guitars.
For all the liberals at Gibson guitar , I am just smiling at how that "Hope and Change" is working out real well for them.
They already are
The Feds cannot be bothered with Al Gore’s zinc mine on his property just down the road. It is run by Occidental Petroleum which has had a long history with the Gore’s. The zinc mine is leaching zinc into the local rivers and ground water and has for years.
Maybe the Feds should run a cash for guitars program, if anything, at least we’ll be safe from those dangerous rockstar, want-a-bees.
Crime: Possession of wood. Check my tag line.
How many pythons are in Florida?
If they really wanted to protect this type of wood, they would allow it to be openly bought and sold. This would result in more of it being planted and grown to meet the demand/
Well, Gibson's entry-level Epiphone line are produced (mostly) in China.
Gibson, so far, has resisted. If it says "Gibson" on the headstock (and isn't a counterfeit) it's made in America.
For how much longer? Who knows.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.