Seven live sharks found in New York basement pool

Joshua Seguine kept seven sandbar sharks in a pool in his basement.
Joshua Seguine kept seven sandbar sharks in a pool in his basement. Photo credit: Getty Images

Seven live sharks have been discovered living in a pool in a New York basement. 

Joshua Seguine, 40, kept the seven sandbar sharks in the basement of his Dutchess County home with the intention to sell them.

Investigators also found two dead leopard sharks, one dead hammerhead shark, and the snout of a smalltooth sawfish at the property.

Seguine first came to the attention of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) when he was arrested in July 2017 for driving without a license and for carrying five undersized sharks in a tank in the back of his truck.

Seguine at the time admitted he was transporting the sharks to New York State where he intended to sell them and that he had more live sharks at his house.

This information was relayed to DEC investigators who upon investigation found Seguine was running a business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLC.

Looking into the business DEC found he had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 to the website

Police then searched his property which is when they discovered the shark-filled above-ground pool hidden away in his home.

On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to animal trafficking charges.

New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggo sentenced him to a conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a US$5000 fine.

"The tide has turned for Joshua Seguine, who was convicted and held accountable for his unlawful acts," James said. 

"Let this serve as a loud and clear message: We will not tolerate anyone who preys on protected species to line their pockets. My office will continue to enforce the laws that safeguard our wildlife, and we will hold accountable those who violate them." 

Sandbar sharks are a protected species in New York, the seven found at Seguine's home were assessed by biologists before being transferred to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. 

According to The New York times the case has drawn attention to an underground exotic fish market whose clients include entertainers and athletes. 

Owning sharks is prohibited in the US yet many celebrities see having them as pets as a status symbol.