SAN DIEGO — A man who tried to sneak past U.S. border agents in California had 52 lizards and snakes hidden in his clothes, authorities said Tuesday.
The man was driving a truck when he arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing with Mexico on Feb. 25 and was removed for further inspection, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
Officers found 52 live reptiles tied in small bags “which were concealed in the man’s jacket, trouser pockets and groin area,” the statement said.
Nine snakes and 43 horned lizards were seized. Some species are considered endangered, authorities said.
“Smugglers will try every means possible to try and get their product, or in this case live reptiles, across the border,” said Sidney Aki, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection. in San Diego. “On this occasion, the smuggler attempted to trick CBP officers into bringing these animals to the United States, without taking care of the animals’ health and safety.”
The man, a 30-year-old US citizen, was arrested.
New York Post