Alaskan man pleads guilty to sale of seal penises
ANCHORAGE, Alaska |
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - An Alaska man has pleaded guilty to selling more than 100 fur seal "oosiks" -- or penises -- to a local gift shop that intended to sell the items as an aphrodisiac.
Michael Richard Zacharof, an Aleut and former tribal president from the Bering Sea village of St. Paul, pleaded guilty this week to one count of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Federal law forbids the sale of any raw marine mammal parts unless they have been crafted into pieces of Alaska Native artwork.
In Zacharof's case, the former tribal leader sold the raw seal penises to a gift shop catering to customers from Asia. The shop then sold the items for about $100 each, according to the Justice Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Steward said seal penis bones, also known as seal sticks, are believed to have properties similar to erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra.
Zacharof faces a possible one-year prison term and a $20,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
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