Man jailed for selling monkey heads and pickled lizards online

Daniel Stocks was sentenced to six months in prison at Exeter Crown Court. Credit: National Crime Agency
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A "prolific" trader who illegally sold monkey heads and pickled lizards online has been jailed after an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Daniel Stocks, 42, who also ran a legitimate website selling fake shrunken heads and masks made from animal flesh, also used eBay to sell prohibited taxidermy on a shop called Killer Curios UK.

He was sentenced to six months in prison at Exeter Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to four charges relating to trade in specimens.

The monkey parts, hornbill skull, chameleon and leopard cat specimens in his possession were confiscated.

Monkey heads, tails and paws were among the items discovered at Stocks' home. Credit: National Crime Agency

Border Force officials alerted the NCA to Stocks after finding a veiled chameleon specimen in a package sent to his address from Philadelphia.

He did not have a licence to import the creature and was arrested.

During a search of his house and a rented industrial unit, various items were found, including a stuffed African white-backed vulture, macaque heads and skulls, monkey tails and monkey paws framed and mounted above the phrase Make A Wish.

This monkey paw was mounted above the phrase Make A Wish. Credit: National Crime Agency

An investigation found Stocks had also been trading in horn bills, leopard cats and monkeys, in breach of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species laws (CITES), which govern the sale of controlled specimens.

The NCA said Stocks, from Kingkerswell, near Newton Abbot in Devon, claimed to officers that he did not know the CITES rules, but that the listings he wrote for eBay made "highly specific references" to the regulations.