A Chinese national who pleaded guilty to running an international smuggling ring that specialized in rhinoceros horns is due to be sentenced.

Lam Yik Fei, Getty Images

Zhifei Li is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Newark.

He could face up to 10 years per count after pleading guilty in December to 11 counts including smuggling and illegal wildlife trafficking.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Li paid three antique dealers in the U.S. to help him smuggle the items to China. Thirty smuggled rhino horns plus other objects made from the horns and from elephant ivory were worth about $4.5 million.

All species of the rhinoceros are protected under U.S. and international law.

The 29-year-old is a resident of Shandong, China.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)