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Department of Sociology to host March 27 lecture on international wildlife trafficking

ISSUED: 25 March 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Department of Sociology and Geography continues its monthly Criminal Justice Lecture Series about careers in criminology and criminal justice continues Wednesday, March 27, at 12:10 p.m. in Erma Ora Byrd Hall, room 103 with a talk by Keith Toomey, special agent in charge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Professional Responsibility Unit (PRU). The event is free and open to the public.

Toomey will discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement’s battle against international wildlife trafficking and its tie to transnational crime. He will give a brief overview of the Office of Law Enforcement that will include its structure, mission, and personnel. Toomey will touch on the regulation of the legitimate wildlife trade, but focus on the impact of the worldwide illicit trade and what is being done about it. Anyone interested in the field of federal law enforcement, conservation law enforcement, or transnational crime can attend and feel free to ask questions.

The PRU is a criminal investigative unit with a primary function of investigating nationwide allegations of misconduct by USFWS law enforcement officers. Toomey has been with the unit for 13 years. Prior to that, he was a special agent for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Newark, New Jersey, assigned to the U.S .Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force and responsible for removing wanted felons from Section 8 and public housing projects. Before entering federal law enforcement, Toomey served as a county detective in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, major crime unit, for the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice as a state detective, and as a U.S. Marine Corps officer. He holds a B.S. in accounting from Albright College and a master’s degree in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also has a graduate certificate in global leadership and administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Toomey is a 2017 graduate of the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executive Fellows Program, the Pennsylvania State University Police Executive Leadership Development Program, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Executive Leadership Program.

For more information, contact Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, chair, Department of Sociology and Geography, at

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