Episode 6

Ep. 6. Jolly Green Crime

We often associated federal crimes with illegal drugs, guns or human trafficking, but rarely do we consider that selling plants and insects can be illegal, especially if imported without a permit. In this episode, we discuss two popular science articles that discuss federal investigations into plant and insect smugglers.

Full articles:

Jani Actman (2019). Demand for exotic pets and collectors' items drives a flourishing illegal trade in beetles, spiders, and more. National Geographic: Wildlife Watch.

Rob Walker (2020). Texas's cactus cops battle to save rare desert beauty from smuggling gangs. The Guardian.

John MacCormack (2020). Smugglers sold thousands of protected "living rock" cacti, found only in the Big Bend. San Antonio Express News.

About the Podcast

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Jolly Green Scientists
Digesting scientific research relevant to the green industry

About your hosts

Profile picture for Erfan Vafaie

Erfan Vafaie

I'm an entomologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, based out of Overton, Texas (U.S.A.). I conduct research and educational programming on integrative pest management of ornamental and nursery crops, working mainly with producers and other green industry professionals. My online 'pseudonym' is the SixLeggedAggie.
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Vikram Baliga

I'm the manager of the University Teaching and Research Greenhouse and Horticultural Gardens at Texas Tech University. I also serve as an instructor of horticulture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and I'm a long-time and active science communicator. I'm also a thunderous plant nerd.