Chris Conk just doesn’t get it. Conk and Ammon Covino, both former directors at the non-profit Idaho Aquarium, were sentences in Federal court Monday in Florida for conspiring to bring illegally harvested spotted rays and lemon sharks to Boise for display at the aquarium.
Covino got a year in the pokey and two years supervised release where his is barred from any employment during his supervised release that involves the possession, display, transportation, exhibition, purchase or sale of wildlife. Conk had cooperated with investigators and received a lighter sentence of four months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.
The two men founded the Idaho Aquarium in Boise in 2011 and er a court order, Covino and Conk can no longer be associated with aquarium. Thankfully, the aquarium had undergone restructuring to continue operating and manage operations as they weather this storm.
As you peel back the layers, you wonder what is wrong with these people that continually bend the rules and give the hobby and public aquarium industry a black eye. This comical caper gets even stranger as Covino’s nephew even got into the courts for obstruction of justice in connection with his uncle’s conspiracy case.
According to court records, Peter Covino, IV, called the Florida business where Covino and Conk illegally purchased the marine life and asked the businessman to cancel a marine life shipment to Boise, refund the credit card and to erase all emails, text messages and other evidence associated with Ammon Covino, according to court documents and testimony.
You may recall that Conk was convicted for shipping protected coral from his home in a separate incident in 2011 . He plead guilty and was sentenced to two years federal probation in March 2012.