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Winged Obsession: The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler    by Jessica Speart order for
Winged Obsession
by Jessica Speart
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Jessica Speart's Winged Obsession is sub-titled 'The Pursuit of the World's Most Notorious Butterfly Smuggler'.

While being a world-class butterfly smuggler may not seem like such a big deal, it is. A very big deal. We are losing so many endangered species to so-called sportsmen and poachers who claim to love their prey. Unfortunately, the demise of a species means nothing to them. Money is the most important issue. And butterflies bring big bucks.

Money is to be made by anyone crafty enough to capture and smuggle almost extinct butterflies into the United States. Large amounts of money changes hands, from collectors to smugglers. Winged Obsession is the story of just such a smuggler and many collectors in the good ole USA. The black market for endangered species is alive and flourishing.

According to smuggler Yoshi Kojima, his business is thriving to an amazing degree. Yoshi Kojima was pursued by rookie U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Ed Newcomer. Acting as a buyer new to the trade in illegal butterflies, Newcomer slowly worked his way into Yoshi's confidence and set himself up as a business partner with Yoshi.

The tale of Newcomer's fight to bring Kojima to justice is fascinating. It's full of lies, deceit, evasions and missed emails, phone calls and Skype encounters. People such as Kojima are decimating our precious resources with impunity. Ed Newcomer set on a course to stop him and his pursuit makes a fascinating story.

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