In 2014, Canadian border guards arrested Kai Xu, a Canadian man, for attempting to smuggle 51 live turtles in his trousers. The border guards found “41 turtles taped to his legs and 10 hidden between his legs”, according to prosecutors. Xu had also reportedly packed more than 1,000 turtles in suitcases that he had sent to Shanghai with someone else. On April 12, 2016, a U.S. federal judge sentenced Xu to 57 months in prison for trying to smuggle turtles to China. He has spent the last 19 months in prison since his arrest. Xu, 27, admitted that he had tried to smuggle more than 1,600 turtles of various species — including species like the Eastern box turtles, Red-eared sliders, and Diamondback Terrapins — out of the United States between April 2014 and September 2014, when he was arrested. Red Eared slider at the Cincinnati Zoo.

According to the Associated Press, Xu would repeatedly enter Michigan to buy and ship turtles to China. While it is not illegal to buy turtles from breeders in the U.S., it is illegal to ship turtles abroad without a federal permit, reports say. Xu reportedly expressed remorse to a judge and thanked agents “for stopping the darkness of my greed and ignorance”. In a letter to the U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara, prior to his hearing, Xu apparently said that he sold the turtles partly to help fund his college degree, according…

Source: Turtle smuggler sentenced to 5 years in prison
Photo by Greg Hume, Wikimedia Commons CC By-SA 3.0

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