WINCHESTER, Va. – “Tiger King” star Bhagavan Antle was convicted Friday of trafficking wildlife in Virginia, officials say.
In a news release, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said that Antle, also known as “Doc Antle” from the Netflix series “Tiger King,” was accused of purchasing endangered lion cubs illegally in Frederick County, Virginia, for profit at his zoo in South Carolina.
Antle was convicted of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and two felony counts of conspiring to wildlife traffic, Miyares said.
Antle was charged in Oct. 2020 with illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs along with nine misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, The New York Times reported. He was cleared of all nine misdemeanor charges on Friday.
According to Virginia State Law, each felony count has a maximum of five years in prison, the Times reported.
“Virginia’s animal cruelty laws are not taken lightly by my office. I’m proud of my Animal Law Unit for their tireless work and I’m thrilled that the jury not only agreed with us but sent a message that Virginia does not tolerate wildlife animal trafficking,” Miyares said in the news release.
Antle is facing up to 20 years in prison, The Associated Press reported. He will remain free on bond until his sentencing on Sept. 14.
Antle made appearances in the Netflix series “Tiger King” in 2020. According to the Times, Joseph Maldonado-Passage also known as Joe Exotic from the show is currently serving 21 years in federal prison for a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Carole Baskin, another “Tiger King” star.
Antle is also facing money laundering charges in another federal court case in South Carolina, according to the newspaper.
Help a Deserving Family Get a New Roof for Free!
LISTEN LIVE: Listen to Houston’s Eagle now!
Dean & Rog’s Thousand Dollar Minute
SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream and Spooktacular
Dean & Rog Mornings
On-air surprise: Joe Buck learns he is joining father in Pro Football Hall of Fame
KGLK Match Game Rules
‘Leave him alone’: Adele halts Las Vegas show, scolds security for ‘bothering’ fan