“Monkey Whisperer” Who Reportedly Sold Chris Brown A Capuchin Monkey In 2017 Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges For Trafficking Protected Primates

Jimmy Wayne Hammonds, also known as “the Monkey Whisperer,” pleaded guilty to having violated the Endangered Species Act and Lacy Act in connection with a conspiracy to sell a protected primate to a celebrity client in California. Hammonds faces a maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

As noted in a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, court records state that 57-year-old Hammonds owned and operated The Monkey Whisperer, LLC, a business engaged in the breeding and selling of wildlife. From September 2017 until February 2018, Hammonds conspired to sell a capuchin monkey to an individual in California, even though that buyer, who is believed to be singer and songwriter Chris Brown, could not lawfully possess a capuchin monkey in the state.

Hammonds facilitated the transportation of the capuchin monkey from Florida to California through individuals who were not permitted to possess that species of monkey in either state. The client had paid more than $12,000 for the animal. Law enforcement later seized the monkey from the client’s California residence. The young monkey was reportedly placed in a sanctuary.

In December 2017, Brown posted a video to Instagram documenting his then 3-year-old daughter holding a baby capuchin monkey. The video can still be found on YouTube.

In addition, Hammonds illegally sold cotton-top tamarins, which are primates listed as an endangered species, to buyers in Alabama, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Hammonds submitted false records to a law enforcement officer and attempted to persuade a witness to lie to a law enforcement officer by saying that they had purchased the cotton-top tamarins at a flea market.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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