$4.5M of Illegal Elephant Tusks Seized in Midtown Store 

(DNAINFO) Ben Fractenberg | September 24, 2016 — The owners of Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques were arrested, officials said.

The biggest ever elephant tusk seizure in New York State has snared three Midtown antique dealers, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Investigators recovered more than $4.5 million in ivory from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques at 10 W. 57th St. It was taken from more than a dozen endangered African elephants.

The ivory included two pairs of un-carved tusks standing between 5 and 7 feet tall, officials said Thursday.

“The conduct alleged in this case is abhorrent,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement.

“As the international elephant population hovers near extinction, too many ivory traders continue to profit from the slaughter of these beautiful, defenseless animals.

“My office and our DEC partners will do everything we can locally to protect this endangered species and end this moral, ecological and geopolitical crisis.”

The three brothers who own the store, Irving Morano, 46, Samuel Morano, 48, and Victor Zilberman, 62, were charged with felony illegal commercialization of wildlife after being indicted in New York State Supreme Court.

They were arraigned Thursday morning and released without bail, according to the DA’s office.

Source: $4.5M of Illegal Elephant Tusks Seized in Midtown Store – Midtown – DNAinfo New York