Lolli brother, former Macon police chief set for spring trial

Lolli Bros. Livestock in Macon is named as a defendant in a federal case involving the illegal sale of rhino horns. (John Garlock/KTVO)

The trial for the former president of a Heartland livestock market and a former police chief accused of smuggling rhino horns is now set for May 2018.

James D. Lolli, and Scott Ziebarth, both of Macon, face federal charges of Conspiracy, Smuggling Goods from the United States, Wildlife Trafficking and Money Laundering/Aiding and Abetting. The trial, originally set for January 30, 2018, was delayed and is now set for May in a California federal court.

According to the indictment, Lolli, through Lolli Bros. Livestock Market in Macon, is accused of facilitating the trade and transport of rhinoceros horns in violation of international treaty and the Endangered Species Act, among other laws.

Federal investigators say a group of exporters in California paid Lolli and his co-conspirators more than $900,000 between April 2009 and December 2011 to purchase and facilitate the transport of rhino horns through Lolli Bros. Livestock Market, which is internationally known for its exotic animal trade.

The charges are connected to a 2012 crackdown that led federal investigators to Lolli and Ziebarth, who are also charged in the most recent suit. Lolli and Ziebarth were not charged in 2012, but were mentioned in other federal court documents related to the operation.

Those documents alleged that Lolli and Ziebarth were connected to Los Angeles exporters who would send rhino horns to China at an enormous profit. Investigators said they opened seven packages sent by Lolli to one such corporation, and they found 18 rhinoceros horns inside.

The jury trial for Lolli and Ziebarth is set for May 15, 2018, in Santa Ana, California.

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