MACON, Ga. (AP) — A South Carolina man previously convicted of smuggling protected turtles between the United States and Hong Kong faces new allegations of turtle-related crimes in Georgia. Bibb County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested 43-year-old Steven Verren Baker of Holly Hill, South Carolina, and charged him with 15 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. No lawyer is listed in Georgia records for Baker, who remains jailed. Deputies say they found 15 turtles in poor health at Baker’s mother’s house. Officials described Baker as the ringleader of a 2016 scheme to mail protected turtles back and forth between the United States and Hong Kong without permits.
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