A Texas woman indicted last month by a federal grand jury for allegedly selling an endangered jaguar cub for $30,000 to a Riverside County man, who re-sold it before it was ultimately abandoned outside an animal-rescue center, surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, Nov. 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Details of Trisha Denise “Mimi” Meyer’s surrender were not immediately released.
The 40-year-old Houston resident was charged last month in an indictment with interstate transportation of an endangered species in the course of commercial activity, interstate sale of an endangered species, trafficking of a prohibited wildlife species, and trafficking an endangered species, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Also charged in the indictment was Abdul “Manny” Rahman, 34, of Murrieta: He was charged with interstate transportation of an endangered species in the course of commercial activity, trafficking of a prohibited wildlife species, and trafficking an endangered species.
According to the indictment, Meyer sold Rahman the live jaguar cub in spring 2021. It was unclear where she got it. Prior to the sale, she allegedly posted photos and videos on Instagram showing herself with the cub, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors said the cub was transported — for an additional $1,000 fee — from Texas to California. Rahman kept the jaguar for one to two months before selling it for $20,000.
According to prosecutors, the last buyer was living with his pregnant wife or girlfriend. After someone expressed concern about the jaguar being in the same home as a child, he had the animal taken to a rescue center, prosecutors said.
The person who expressed concerns about the jaguar later told law enforcement that he and his roommate put the jaguar in a large dog kennel and drove it to an animal-rescue center in Alpine in San Diego County.
They dropped off the jaguar at the facility’s entrance on Sept. 17, 2021, at around 9:50 p.m., and were captured on security cameras and law enforcement was notified.
The jaguar remains at the animal sanctuary in Alpine.
If convicted of all charges, Meyers could face up to eight years in federal prison and a $700,000 fine. Rahman could face up to seven years in federal prison and a $600,000 fine.