Aquarium director arrested again, nephew also facing charges

Aquarium director arrested again, nephew also facing charges
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Federal officials have made two more arrests involving the Idaho Aquarium.

Ammon Covino, one of the directors arrested last week, and Peter Covino IV, identified in court records as Ammon's nephew, were arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail Tuesday morning.

Ammon was arrested along with Christopher Conk last Thursday after charges were filed claiming they illegally purchased and transported lemon sharks and spotted eagle rays from Florida.

Peter is being charged with obstruction of justice.

According to court documents, last Friday someone claiming to be an acquaintance of Ammon called the Florida business involved in the alleged illegal lemon shark purchases from last year and told them to "cancel the shipment going to Boise" and "refund the credit card."

The complaint says that when the Florida business owner asked what was going on, Peter told him to check Google and asked him to also erase any emails, texts, or any other evidence.

Peter was identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the person who called after they found a Craigslist ad under his name with the same phone number as the caller to the Florida business, according to the complaint.

In federal court on Wednesday, a continuance was granted for Ammon. His next hearing is scheduled for Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Peter Covino was released until his next initial hearing March 15.

In the meantime, the Idaho Aquarium remains open for business and quite busy. U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Wendy Olson says

"There is nothing inherent in the charges that affects the business in it of itself. Simply because criminal charges are brought against individuals affiliated with the aquarium doesn't mean that the aquarium has to close or that the aquarium has to do anything."

Click here to read the complaint against Peter Covino.