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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered dozens of live reptiles stored in bags located in and under an individual’s clothes last month, foiling an attempt to smuggle the creatures into the country, according to the agency.

The episode unfolded on Feb. 25 when authorities at the San Ysidro port of entry discovered a whopping 52 bags which contained 43 horned lizards and nine snakes, tucked away in the jacket, pants pockets, and groin region of a 30-year-old American citizen, according to a press release.

The release noted that the “reptiles will remain in quarantine due to some species being identified as endangered.”

“Smugglers will try every possible way to try and get their product, or in this case live reptiles, across the border,” CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego Sidney Aki said in a statement. “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. CBP enforces hundreds of laws at the border for more than 40 different government agencies, in part to help stop smuggling attempts like these which can lead to trafficking of possibly endangered species.”

Separately, CBP officers in Philadelphia found nine jars of blood-sucking leeches last month — the jars were spread across several shipments spanning a period between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25, and altogether about 300 leeches were seized.

CBP frequently reports catching previously convicted, previously deported criminals. Those types of apprehensions highlight the connection between border security and public safety.

For example, a press release last week highlighted the apprehension of a convicted sex offender and the apprehension of a convicted murderer.

Source: TheBlaze

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