An Olathe man has admitted importing endangered leopard cats.
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said 34-year-old Lawrence Payne pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Endangered Species Act.
The leopard cat is a small wild cat native to Asia that has been designated as an endangered species.
Prosecutors say the investigation began when Payne applied for a breeding license for Asian leopard cats through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Investigators who searched his home said they found three Asian leopard cats.
A sentencing date hasn’t been set. Payne faces up to a year in jail and a fine up to $50,000.