July 13, 2006

More on the San Leandro Pastor Charged With Poaching Leopard Sharks

The July 12, 2006, edition of the East Bay Express has a lengthy feature article by Robert Gammon about the leopard shark poaching ring operating out of San Leandro. As reported previously, Kevin Thompson, 48, pastor of the Bay Area Family Church in San Leandro, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 24, 2006, along with five others, of illegal trade in leopard sharks.

The East Bay Express article goes into much greater detail about how Thompson may have been responsible for poaching 6,000 leopard sharks since 1990 or 1991. Testimony from co-defendant John Newberry revealed that Thompson and Newberry "stowed their fishing poles, line, hooks, and bait, along with three of the church's shark boats, at the San Leandro sushi warehouse owned by True World Foods. Newberry also disclosed that at the rear of the True World property was a large shack where they kept their live baby leopard sharks."

The Bay Area Family Church is part of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church and True World Foods is one of the church's commercial enterprises.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at July 13, 2006 12:22 AM | TrackBack
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