SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced on December 6 that the owner of Lovell’s Gallery, Abraham Magadish, 56, of El Cerrito, as well as the corporate parent of Lovell’s Gallery, ALAER-90, Inc., were charged with one count of sales and two counts of illegal possession for sale of ivory.
Lovell’s Gallery manager Yesika Becerra, 33, of San Francisco, and Vivian Wei Zhao, a Lovell’s salesperson, 58, of San Francisco, were also charged with one count of sales of ivory. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Gregory Alker.
“The sale of ivory has decimated the elephant population around the world,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “By eliminating the market for ivory at home, we can play a role in reducing demand and the likelihood that these majestic animals will be hunted abroad.”
According to court records, on December 15, 2016 officers for California Fish and Wildlife made an undercover buy of a statuette advertised as ivory for $240 with marked and photographed twenty dollar bills at Lovell’s Gallery located at 625 Grant Avenue in San Francisco.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, in conjunction with U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, entered Lovell’s Gallery as part of a regulatory inspection. After reviewing the items for sale, which had a cryptic code on the price tag as well as the price, they seized 32 items appearing to be ivory.
ALAER-90 Inc. was arraigned in Department 17 and pled not guilty. A pretrial date was set for Friday, January 5, 2018. Vivian Zhao and Yesika Becerra surrendered on Friday, December 1. They were arraigned in Department 17 at 9 a.m. on December 7. An arraignment date for Abraham Magadish has not yet been set.