“Tiger King” star Bhagavan Antle (better known as “Doc Antle” on the show) was found guilty Tuesday of illegally purchasing an endangered lion cub in Virginia. After receiving the test, they must pay thousands of dollars to stay away from the exotic animals.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said Antle committed two counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking in June after purchasing animals that were intended to be exhibited outside a business in South Carolina. He was found guilty by a jury on two charges.
A Frederick County judge on Tuesday sentenced Antle to two years of suspended prison terms and concurrent terms on each charge. He must pay a maximum fine of $2,500 for each conviction, for a total of $10,000.
Additionally, in Virginia, Antle is not allowed to work, own, own, broker, buy, sell, trade, give away, barter or donate any exotic animals for five years, Miyares said.
“Today marks the end of years of investigations and prosecutions by my office. Whether we deal with violent criminals, big pharmaceutical companies, fraudsters and fraudsters, or wildlife traffickers in Virginia, We will uphold the rule of law without exception.” stated in a statement.
“This case sends a clear message that bad actors will not be tolerated in our commonwealth.”
Antle was featured prominently in the 2020 Netflix phenomenon “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” which follows a major U.S. feline breeder and private zoo.
The series delved into the life and times of Joe Exotic, a quirky zoo owner from Oklahoma. Joe Exotic was also a target of animal abuse and was convicted of plotting to murder his rival zookeeper Carole Baskin.
Mr. Antle has a history of violations dating back to 1989, when he was fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for abandoning deer and peacocks at a zoo in Virginia.
He subsequently committed more than 35 USDA violations for animal cruelty.
In June 2022, Antle was indicted More than $500,000 was laundered, and federal prosecutors said it was the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States.
If convicted of the money laundering charges, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.