[...] the federal agent's search warrant affidavit contends that 1,250 pieces of Indian ebony wood that arrived by air in Dallas on June 22 were imported illegally, sparking the federal investigation under the Lacey Act policing international trade in plants as well as federal smuggling law.
India does not allow wood to be exported if it is sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced, peeled or more than 6 millimeters thick, the government contends in the court filing. The sawn ebony wood intercepted by U.S. customs agents in Dallas was 10 millimeters thick.
Initial customs documents for the shipment falsely described the wood as veneer, less than 6 millimeters thick and finished parts of musical instruments, according to the court document.
In addition, rather than listing Gibson as its ultimate consignee as required, California-based Luthier Mercantile International initially was declared to be the final destination for the wood, agents reported.
What's the distinction between a retroactive law and an ex post facto law?
You mean the music that is created with instruments made from wood from those biodiverse forests? Because if the music doesn't need need these products from nature, there there's no problem — don't use these products. If it does need these products — then I guess these biodiverse forests have helped bring you music.
...people who unknowingly possess a musical instrument or other object containing wood that was illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of law and who, in the exercise of due care, would not have known that it was illegal, do not have criminal exposure. The Federal Government focuses its enforcement efforts on those who are removing protected species from the wild and making a profit by trafficking in them.
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