| Crime |

Franken-Artist Enrique Gomez De Molina Sentenced to 20 Months for Wildlife Smuggling

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Enrique Gomez De Molina, the local artist who specializes in surrealist objects assembled from the taxidermied parts of different animals, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for smuggling endangered wildlife. De Molina was first arrested in late November just before Art Basel, and plead guilty shortly after in December.

De Molina combined art with taxidermy to create sculptures of Frankenstein-like animals. Two of his pieces sold for more than a combined $100,000 when it was displayed at the 2010's Scope Miami Art Fair.

But in his quest to create more captivating creations, he started illegally importing parts from endangered animals that he bought over the internet.

De Molina imported parts from whole cobras, pangolins, hornbills, and the skulls of babirusa and orangutans from areas all over the world including Bali, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada, and China. The artist has not obtained the proper permits to import the part, and the feds says De Molina knew what he was doing was illegal and asked the people selling him the parts to wrap the papers in carbon paper.

De Molina was sentenced to 20 months in prison in federal court this morning. Following release he'll face one year of supervised released and pay a $6,000 fine.

"For years, DeMolina illegally imported parts and remains of endangered and threatened species, including a cobra, a pangolin, hornbills, and the skulls of babirusa and orangutans, and used them to create taxidermy pieces that he sold for as much as $80,000," said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer in a statement. "Trafficking in endangered and threatened species, whether for personal profit or under the guise of art, is illegal. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will strictly enforce the laws that protect our environment and our wildlife."

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.