43 horned lizards, 9 snakes found in man’s pants and pockets at California border crossing
SAN DIEGO CITY (Border report) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the arrest of a man who attempted to smuggle 52 reptiles through the San Ysidro Port of Entry in the early morning hours of February 25.
CBP said the man tied all the reptiles in small bags and hid them in his clothes.
Officers are said to have been suspicious of the man, identified only as a US citizen, when he attempted to drive his 2018 GMC truck from Tijuana.
The man was taken to a secondary screening area for further screening.
When officers searched the driver, they discovered several bags containing live animals.
CBP said officers removed a total of 52 bags containing 43 horned lizards and nine snakes, which were hidden in the man’s jacket, pants pockets and groin area.
“Smugglers will try everything they can to get their product, or in this case, reptiles that live across the border,” said Sidney Aki, CBP’s Field Operations Manager in San Diego. “On this occasion, the smuggler attempted to deceive CBP officers into bringing these animals into the US with no regard for their health and safety. CBP enforces hundreds of border laws for more than 40 different government agencies, in part to help prevent smuggling efforts like these that can lead to trade in potentially endangered species. ”
CBP officers arrested the driver for smuggling the reptile.
“This arrest is the direct result of a coordinated investigative effort by San Diego Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Customs and Border Protection.” Chad Plantz, Special Agent in charge of HSI San Diego said. “HSI will continue to aggressively investigate individuals involved in the smuggling and illegal trade of endangered wildlife for their own gain.”
CBP officers seized the horned lizards, snakes, and vehicles.
Live reptiles are placed in a safe and secure area and will be quarantined as some have been identified as endangered.
https://www.wavy.com/news/world/43-horned-lizards-9-snakes-found-in-mans-pants-and-pockets-at-california-border-crossing/ 43 horned lizards, 9 snakes found in man’s pants and pockets at California border crossing