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Idaho Aquarium director's nephew convicted of obstruction of justice

Idaho Aquarium director's nephew convicted of obstruction of justice

By Maria Decaney. CREATED Jul 25, 2013

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boise has announced that Peter Covino, IV, 20, of Eagle, was convicted Thursday of obstruction of justice.

In February 2013, authorities say Covino made two phone calls to a business in the Florida Keys involved in the trade of wholesale marine life. He allegedly directed one of the business owners “to erase all the text messages, and emails, or any other evidence” linking the Florida business to Ammon Covino, the uncle of defendant Peter Covino, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a separate criminal proceeding, Ammon Covino was arrested on February 21st, in connection with “…allegations that he engaged in conspiracy and various violations of the federal Lacey Act by purchasing and transporting wildlife from the Florida Keys to Idaho for exhibit at the Idaho Aquarium in Boise, Idaho. According to the charges, the wildlife included spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks, for which the required Florida licenses and permits were never acquired. Testimony established at trial that Ammon Covino made the arrangements for the illegal purchases by emails, text messages, and telephone calls,” said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson.

Peter Covino faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. United States District Judge Jose E. Martinez, who presided over the trial, set sentencing for September 24th of this year at 1:00 p.m. in the Key West Courthouse in Florida.