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Why the man who sold Chris Brown a monkey ended up in federal court

Why the man who sold Chris Brown a monkey ended up in federal court
Chris Brown (Photo credit: Bang Media)

A man who sold a capuchin monkey to Chris Brown has been sentenced to five years probation.

Jimmy Hammonds, a Florida man also known as “The Monkey Whisperer,” illegally sold the animal to Brown for $12,650 in Parrish, Florida, according to the Associated Press. Under the laws of Florida and California, where Brown lives, it is illegal to exchange a capuchin monkey without a permit. Wild life agents seized the monkey after executing a search warrant on Brown’s home in January 2018. The search warrant was obtained after Brown shared a picture of his pet  on Instagram. Charges against the legendary R&B singer were dropped for possessing a monkey without a permit after he surrendered his pet and paid $35,000 for the monkey’s care.

Hammonds was ordered to pay a $90,000 fine to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. He also has to serve eight months of his five-year probation period in home confinement. He pled guilty to three counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. Prosecutors also said he illegally sold endangered cotton-top tamarins to people in Alabama, South Carolina and Wisconsin while trying to disguise the sales.

“In addition to licensed money breeding activities, Hammonds frequently sold monkeys on the black market,” prosecutors said in court papers, according to the AP. “Hammonds engaged in illicit business practices or schemes that involved a pattern of repeated illegal conduct.”

The defense team argued none of the monkeys were treated inappropriately.

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