A man attempting to enter the United States of America with 52 live reptiles hidden under his clothes has been nabbed by border authorities.
The man arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing with Mexico on February 25, US Customs and Border Protection said in a news release Tuesday. He was driving a truck which customs officials pulled up for further inspection.
“The incident occurred at about 3 am, on February 25, when CBP officers encountered a 30-year-old male US citizen, driving a 2018 GMC truck and arriving at the San Ysidro border crossing,” US Customs and Border Protection revealed.
A personal search of the unnamed man yielded a slithery surprise. Border authorities discovered 52 live reptiles hidden in “the man’s jacket, pants pockets, and groin area.” The reptiles — including 43 horned lizards and nine snakes — were found concealed in small bags.
“Smugglers will try every possible way to try and get their product, or in this case live reptiles, across the border,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “In this occasion, the smuggler attempted to deceive CBP officers in order to bring these animals into the US., without taking care for the health and safety of the animals.
The man was arrested at the scene for smuggling live reptiles, while his vehicle and the animals were seized. He was later transported and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center.