Federal officials say a New York man smuggled snakes in his pants from Canada to the United States while riding a bus. Now he faces charges.


Federal prosecutors said the passenger put three Burmese pythons in his pants and boarded a bus bound for the United States from Canada.

Now the man is in trouble after snake smuggling into the country through the Champlain Port of Entry in upstate New York, according to the Department of Justice.

A 36-year-old man from Queens, New York, was charged with smuggling goods into the U.S. and was arraigned in federal court on Oct. 4, according to court documents and a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for North America. New York area.

He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, prosecutors said.

His attorney declined a request for comment from McClatchy News on Oct. 4.

Burmese pythons can grow up to 16 feet long and are considered “injurious to man” by the Home Secretary, according to the indictment. Because of this, importation of pythons into the US is prohibited unless the US Fish and Wildlife Service issues a permit.

Additionally, importing Burmese pythons into the United States from another country requires a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) document, according to the indictment. This is because, under the CITES Treaty, Burmese pythons are considered to be “not currently threatened with extinction but may become so if their trade is not regulated”.

When the man smuggled the snakes in his pants into New York on July 15, 2018, he did not have the proper permits or official permission to do so, investigators said.

He was released after being charged and is awaiting trial, the report said.

The the longest Burmese python was recorded in Florida and stretched 16.8 feet, according to the Florida Museum. Snake species are native to southern and southeastern Asia.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. She has previously written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and others.

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