Feds Bust Turtles Smuggled into LAX via Snack Food Boxes
We've heard of turtle soup (all hail the delicacies of the Victorian Era!) but turtle-flavored crisps and cookies? That's essentially what federal officials found when they busted two Japanese nationals for smuggling turtles into LAX, reports the LA Times.
Atwater Village Newbie A turtle at Sea World in San Diego.
The two men were arrested last Friday as the culmination of a months-long undercover sting dubbed "Operation Flying Turtle." It's nice to know the officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have a flair for the dramatic.
Going by the pictures, Atsushi Yamagami, 39, and Norihide Ushirozako, 49, had wrapped more than 50 palm-sized baby turtles in small cloth bags, which they tucked into boxes of snacks. Perhaps the giveaway was when their packages of Jagabee Crisps and Moonlight Cookies started trying to crawl away.
The two men will be arraigned on January 31st. They could face up to 21 years in prison for violating the Endangered Species Act. Either that or the Queen of Hearts will turn them into soup.