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Dressmaker Nancy Gonzalez jailed for smuggling crocodile purses into US for New York Style Week | World Information

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A star purse designer whose merchandise have been utilized by Britney Spears and on Intercourse And The Metropolis has been jailed for smuggling crocodile purses into the US for trend reveals.

Nancy Gonzalez, 71, admitted recruiting couriers to hold as many as 4 merchandise every on business flights from her native Colombia to the US for New York Style Week, amongst different high-profile occasions.

Gonzalez, who was arrested in 2022 in Cali, and later extradited to the US, was sentenced to 18 months in a federal courtroom in Miami on Monday for breaking US wildlife legal guidelines.

The purses, created from the hides of caiman and pythons bred in captivity, had been value as a lot as $2m (£1.6m), prosecutors stated, however the designer’s legal professionals stated every pores and skin price solely round $140 (£113).

Typically she didn’t acquire the correct import permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, one thing backed by a broadly ratified worldwide treaty governing the commerce in endangered and threatened species, the courtroom heard.

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Holding again tears, Gonzalez advised the courtroom earlier than sentencing that she deeply regretted not totally complying with US legal guidelines.

She stated: “From the underside of my coronary heart, I apologise to america of America. I by no means meant to offend a rustic to which I owe immense gratitude. Underneath stress, I made poor choices.”

Salma Hayek, Britney Spears and Victoria Beckham are amongst celebrities who purchased Gonzalez’s fastidiously crafted purses.

Her work was additionally included in a 2008 exhibition on the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York.

In courtroom, her legal professionals performed a 2019 video of prime patrons from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and others praising the designer’s creativity, productiveness and humanity.

However prosecutor Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald stated the retailers “should be regretting they had been ever put as much as that and in the event that they heard it was offered in courtroom they’d cringe”.

“They’ve their very own model to guard,” he added.

Mr Watts-Fitzgerald, who in contrast Gonzalez’s behaviour to that of drug traffickers, stated her actions had been “all pushed by the cash”.

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Her legal professionals pleaded for leniency for the lady, who, they stated, created “the very first luxurious, high-end trend firm from a 3rd world nation,” which later competed with business giants like Dior, Prada and Gucci.

In addition they argued that just one% of the merchandise she imported into the US lacked correct papers and had been samples for New York Style Week and different occasions.

Prosecutors had been in search of a stiffer sentence of 30 to 37 months. However the choose stated he was taking into consideration the practically 14 months she spent in a Colombian jail awaiting extradition.

She was ordered to start her sentence on 6 June.

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