There’s going to be “shell” to pay.

An “old school” New Jersey reporter will spend six months in the slammer for trafficking a protected species of turtle, federal prosecutors said this week.

David Sommers, a 64-year-old former reporter at The Trentonian, was also sentenced Thursday by a federal judge to fork over $250,000 in restitution and serve six months of home detention for illegally selling diamondback terrapins after poaching thousands of them from coastal marshes in New Jersey, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“The defendant had a simple business: poach protected turtles and their eggs from their natural habitat, advertise them for sale online and then illegally ship them to customers by concealing the actual contents of the packages,” US Attorney William McSwain said in a statement.

Sommers, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in February to falsely labeling the packages containing the semi-aquatic reptiles while posing as a legitimate breeder.

Prosecutor said he took more than 3,500 of the protected turtles and their eggs from the New Jersey marshes — where they have a shrinking habitat range — from November 2011 through October 2017. All told, the total market value of the poached wildlife exceeded $550,000, prosecutors said.

The turtles, which aren’t native to Pennsylvania, are valued among reptile aficionados due to the unique diamond-shaped shell markings and are protected under state law and a federal wildlife trafficking statute.

Sommers left the paper in 1999 to launch a news startup, but returned two years later after it failed.

Messages seeking comment from Sommers were not returned on Friday, but a former Trentonian editor who worked with him said he was an “old school” general assignment reporter who doggedly pursued stories.

“He was an old school tabloid guy, very aggressive, a go-getter,” the editor, who asked not be identified, told The Post. “The guy had a good nose for news.”

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