More than $4.5 million of illegal elephant ivory seized at midtown antiques store

ALBANY, N.Y. — Authorities say the owners and a salesman at a Manhattan antiques store and gallery have been charged with selling or offering for sale illegal elephant ivory priced at more than $4.5 million that has been seized.

Manhattan prosecutors and state conservation officials say Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques has sold ivory articles and carvings since at least 2007.

More than $4.5 million of illegal elephant ivory was seized from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques. (Manhattan District Attorney's Office)

More than $4.5 million of illegal elephant ivory was seized from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques. (Manhattan District Attorney’s Office)

They say the shop didn’t renew its previous license to sell ivory following a 2014 state law that banned most sales except under very limited circumstances.

Undercover conservation officers bought a carving for $2,000 last year identified through an analysis as elephant ivory.

Authorities say a subsequent search warrant found 126 ivory articles including two pairs of uncarved tusks.

A man who answered the store’s phone says they have no comment.