Photo: ULISES RUIZ / AFP / Getty Images
A US citizen 30 years old, from Mexico, He was detained after border agents conducted an inspection at the San Ysidro port.
The man was intercepted at a police checkpoint while driving a truck. When reviewing it, the elements took a great surprise, finding 52 live reptiles transported in small plastic bags very well tied and hidden in his jacketpockets of his pants and the area of his groin.
According to the statement issued by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the arrest was made on February 25, seizing a total of 43 horned lizards (Phrynosoma) also known as “blood cry” and nine snakes.
“Smugglers will try every way possible to cross the border with their product, or in this case live reptiles,” said Sidney Aki, CBP director of field operations in San Diego.
“On this occasion, the smuggler attempted to trick CBP officers into bringing these animals into the US, without caring for the health and safety of the animals. CBP enforces hundreds of laws at the border for more than 40 different government agencies, in part to help stop smuggling attempts like these that can lead to the trafficking of potentially endangered species.”
The vehicle was seized and live animals housed in a secure, protected area and will remain in quarantine as some species have been identified as endangered.
“This seizure is the direct result of a coordinated investigative effort by San Diego Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and Customs and Border Protection…will continue to investigate illegal wildlife smuggling and trafficking. endangered species for their own financial benefit,” said Chad Plantz, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego.
Although authorities have not released the smuggler’s name, he was arrested for attempted smuggling of live reptiles, turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigators (HSI) and Fisheries Services. and Vida Silvestre (F&WS) to later be transferred and booked in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
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