An animal dealer who was eluding police for more than a month has turned herself in to authorities in California, Radar has learned.
The United States Attorney's Office reportedly confirmed that Trisha Denise Meyer, also known as "Mimi Exotic" and "Mimi Erotic," surrendered to face federal charges. She is accused of trafficking and selling a baby jaguar between Texas and California.
Meyer was in court in Riverside, California on Nov. 8 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges. She has a trial date set for Jan. 3, 2023, and she was released on $15,000. Authorities say Meyer had planned to sell a jaguar cub named Amador to a man in California for $30,000.
She is accused of taking the endangered animal from Texas to California. There, police say, Abdul Rahman received the cub before deciding to sell it, putting it on the move again. The cub was later abandoned at a Southern California wildlife sanctuary called Lions, Tigers and Bears, which prompted the investigation.
Through an investigation, authorities were able to track the cub to Meyer via social media. Police charged Meyer with interstate transportation of an endangered speciies in the course of commercial activity, interstate sale of an endangered species, trafficking prohibited wildlife species and trafficking endangered species on Oct. 5. Rahman has also been charged.
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Under the Endangered Species Act, jaguars are protected, according to the United States Department of Justice. Instead of surrendering to police initially, Meyer vanished for five weeks before finally turning herself in this week.
Meyer has been previously charged with animal-related crimes. Authorities tigers, a skunk, a fox and several monkeys inside her Houston home in 2016, and noted that she had homeschooled children there. Police were there because Meyer was accused of scamming a California man trying to buy an exotic Savannah kitten.
For that incident, Meyer was charged with child endangerment, but the charge was later dropped. In 2017, she pleaded guilty to a theft charge, according to The Independent.
“It’s been a nightmare for my kids and I because I’ve been portrayed in the media as having had a mountain lion in the house, tigers in the house, foxes, skunks all loose together, which has never happened,” Meyer said after pleading guilty. “It’s just been a nightmare trying to prove my innocence.