Federal agents on Tuesday arrested Peter C. Covino IV, the nephew of Idaho Aquarium co-founder Ammon Covino, on an obstruction of justice charge.
Ammon Covino, 39, of Meridian, and Chris Conk, 40, of Middleton, were arrested on Feb. 21 and charged in Boise federal court with illegally purchasing marine life for captive display at the aquarium.
The next day, federal agents listened to two recorded telephone calls that took place the night of Feb. 21. The calls were placed to a Florida marine life business from which Covino and Conk are accused of illegally purchasing marine life and shipping it to Idaho. The caller asked the Florida businessman to cancel a marine life shipment to Boise, refund the credit card and to erase all emails, text messages and other evidence associated with Ammon Covino.
Federal agents identified the caller as Peter Covino IV, the son of Ammon Covinos brother, Peter C. Covino III.
A Florida judge on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Covino for obstruction of justice. Federal agents arrested Covino in Boise on Tuesday.
His initial appearance is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Boise federal court before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale.
A Florida federal grand jury indicted Ammon Covino and Chris Conk in November.
The four-count indictment alleges that Covino and Conk, who helped found the Idaho Aquarium, purchased four spotted eagle rays and two lemon sharks and shipped them to Idaho. The marine wildlife were harvested illegally and without a permit, according to court documents.