Crime

Olathe man fined for importing Asian leopard cats

This Asian leopard cat lives at the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Education Center, near Louisburg, Kan. An Olathe man was fined for importing this breed..
This Asian leopard cat lives at the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Education Center, near Louisburg, Kan. An Olathe man was fined for importing this breed.. The Kansas City Star

An Olathe man was sentenced Thursday to pay a $5,000 fine for illegally importing Asian leopard cats.

Lawrence Payne, 34, pleaded guilty in October to one count of violating the Endangered Species Act, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas.

Payne had applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a breeding license for the Asian leopard cats. When investigators served a search warrant at Payne’s house, they found three of the animals, which are considered an endangered species under federal law. They are a small wild cat native to Asia.

Payne admitted importing the animals, according to the press release.

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