The White Collar Crime Prof Blog has this post describing of the recent Department of Justice arrests and indictments of five individuals for trading in exotic skins and parts manufactured from sea turtles and other protected species of wildlife. The DOJ press release is available here. Sea turtles are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral treaty of which the United States, Mexico and approximately 170 other countries are parties. Check out the CITES website for more information on the treaty and the type of protection it provides.
The picture above is of a hawksbill turtle, which was the primary source for tortoise shell before its trade was banned.