United States Fish and Wildlife Service special agents arrested 34-year-old Rodrigo Franco, of Monterey Park, Tuesday morning, and charged him with one count of illegal importing.
In March, Customs and Border Protection agents were inspecting a shipment from Hong Kong when they opened three potato chip canisters and found the venomous, 2-foot-long snakes coiled inside. The same package being sent through the U.S. Postal Service also contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles.
Federal agents also searched Franco's phone and found that he exchanged messages with an individual in Asia about shipping turtles and snakes between Hong Kong and the United States, prosecutors said.
The United States Postal Inspection Service made a controlled delivery of the soft-shelled turtles to Franco's residence, but the snakes were removed from the package due to danger associated with cobras, the DOJ said. Immediately after the package was delivered, agents with the USFWS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at the residence.
Investigators found the package that was mailed from Hong Kong in the children's bedroom, and also discovered a tank containing a live baby Morelet crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins, all of which investigators said are protected species.
Franco told authorities that he had previously received two other packages with 20 king cobras, all of which, he said, had died in transit.
Big Ten confirms new TV deals with Fox, ESPN, CBS and BTN
While he admitted that the games have been controversial, he pushed for their continued use. "I don't think there's a gap at all". Some of the opposition to the Friday games site this as a reason to go back to a Saturday-only schedule.
We should mention that the king cobra is wholly deserving of its notoriety.
He allegedly planned on giving five king cobras to a person who was related to his Asian contact.
If convicted, Franco faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.
But this is far from the first time that one of the world's most poisonous snakes has been sent through the mail.
A king cobra snake seen coming out of container of chips in this udated handout photo obtained July 25, 2017.
- Charmi approaches High Court over drugs issue
- News Corporation (NWSA) Given Daily Coverage Optimism Rating of 0.02
- Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (CY) Receives Consensus Recommendation of "Buy" from Analysts
- Watch America's Got Talent season 12, episode 8 online
- Johnson tries to reassure allies on Brexit
- Man City to sign Real defender Danilo for £26.5m
- Pharmacologists Ask US Supreme Court To Block Ohio Execution
- Scotiabank Analysts Give EQT GP Holdings, LP (EQGP) a $30.00 Price Target
- Ambuja Cements Q2 profit slides
- Yankees Trade Rumors: Sonny Gray A Target For New York Before Deadline