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California is said to have smuggled 1,700 reptiles

Young crocodiles and lizards with scorpion beads as pets

California is said to have smuggled 1,700 reptiles

A man from Southern California has reportedly smuggled more than 1,700 reptiles into the United States since 2016, including baby crocodiles and lizards with scorpion bells. U.S. officials said Thursday that the suspect was arrested as he entered Mexico on Feb. 25 at the San Jacitro border crossing. Border guards found about 60 lizards and snakes in the man’s jacket, trouser pockets and small pockets hidden in his waist.

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Reptiles are native pets

The 30-year-old said the reptile was said to be his pets. Authorities said some of the abducted animals were protected and endangered species. The man’s sister is also being investigated. Both have been accused of buying and selling wild animals in the United States through social media since early 2016. These animals are said to have been imported from Mexico and Hong Kong without permission.

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RND / AP

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