LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles father and son have pleaded guilty to trafficking illegal rhinoceros horns to Asia.
Vinh Chuong "Jimmy" Kha, 50, and his 27-year-old son, Felix Kha, entered their pleas in federal court Friday, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
They have been jailed since their arrests in February and will remain so until their Dec. 10 sentencing, the report said. Federal prosecutors said under a plea deal, each will likely receive 5-year terms.
Both also pleaded guilty to money laundering and tax evasion. As part of the deal, the men will give up $2.5 million in profits. The father owes $76,000 in back taxes and the son owes $110,000, the Times said.
Powdered rhinoceros horn is believed in China and some other Asian countries to have curative effects for cancer and other diseases. Horns can fetch as much as $25,000 per pound.
Trade in horns has been banned internationally as the African population of rhinos has declined by 90 percent since the 1970s, the Times said.
In the men's defense, their lawyer noted the pair had been selling horns from trophies and antiques sold at auction and not from live rhinos.
Regardless, under U.S. law, possession of horns is legal but transporting them across state lines is illegal, the report said.
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