Upstate man pleads guilty to illegal possession of seven live sharks

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He’s in deep water.

An upstate man was hit with a $5,000 fine Tuesday for illegally keeping seven live sandbar sharks in a pool in his basement — and trying to sell them online.

Joshua Seguine, 40, was given a conditional discharge in the Town of LaGrange Justice Court in Dutchess County and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty to illegally possessing the sharks with the intent to sell them.

“The tide has turned for Joshua Seguine, who was convicted and held accountable for his unlawful acts,” said state Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. “Let this serve as a loud and clear message: We will not tolerate anyone who preys on protected species to line their pockets.”

The fishy situation first came onto officials’ radar in July 2017, when Seguine was busted in Georgia for driving without a license — and had five undersized sharks in a large circular tank in the back of his truck, officials said.

He allegedly admitted to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources investigator that he intended to sell the sharks and that he was headed home to New York, where he had more of the protected species in his house.

The information was given to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and investigators obtained a warrant for Seguine’s property — where they found the seven live sharks swimming in the above-ground pool. Sandbar sharks can grow up to 8 feet long and are typically found in the Atlantic Ocean.

Authorities also found two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish — an endangered species.

The surviving sharks were transferred to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.

Seguine used the business name Aquatic Apex Life LLC to traffic sharks on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com, officials said.

“It is critical we work to protect endangered species that are taken from their natural habitats and sold for profit,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Seguine couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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