animals & pet care

How Dill City, Oklahoma’s David Bartlett tried to sell African elephant ivory tusks in Tyler, Texas

David Bartlett, 46, of Dill City, Oklahoma, United States is accused of trying to sell African elephant ivory tusks to an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent in Tyler, Texas, USA with the help of Dusty Caudill and Darryl Garcia. The tusks were valued at more than $350.

On February 10, 2021, Bartlett called an individual in Elk City, Oklahoma to negotiate the sale of an African elephant ivory tusk. Unbeknownst to the Dill City resident, the individual was an undercover federal agent.


On February 11, 2021, Caudill posed with the African elephant tusks in Ardmore, Oklahoma for photo and video recordings to promote the sale of the tusks. To negotiate the sale of the tusks, Bartlett sent two videos and three photos to the undercover agent.

On February 17, 2021, Bartlett called the undercover agent again to further negotiate the sale of the tusks and agreed to have the tusks transported to Tyler to complete the transaction. On February 21, 2022, Garcia helped Bartlett move the tusks from a residence into the truck of a vehicle to transport them to Tyler.


On February 22, 2022, Bartlett and Garcia transported two ivory tusks from Ardmore to Tyler with the intent to sell them. Bartlett, Caudill and Garcia have been arrested and ordered to turn over the two African elephant ivory tusks. 

In an indictment on May 19, 2022, Bartlett, Caudill and Garcia were all charged with federal charges of conspiracy to transport wildlife in interstate commerce in violation of state law. Moreover, Bartlett and Garcia were charged with transportation of wildlife in interstate commerce in violation of state law and a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

On June 23, 2022, Garcia appeared in court in Tyler and his bond was set at $50,000. On August 23, 2022, Caudill appeared in court and was released without bail.

On October 19, 2022, Bartlett was transported from a jail in Oklahoma to Gregg County Jail in Longview, Texas. Both Garcia and Caudill have both been set for a pretrial conference on December 5, 2022 unless a plea agreement is reached beforehand.

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