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Man pleads guilty to smuggling snakes on planes

By Associated Press


TYLER, Texas >> Samuel L. Jackson would have been cursing up a storm.

An East Texas man has pleaded guilty to smuggling snakes on several planes from South America to the United States.

During a court hearing today in Tyler, William Lamar pleaded guilty to importing wildlife taken in violation of foreign law.

Prosecutors say the 63-year-old eco-tourism guide bought the seven live snakes in August 2012 in a market in Lima, Peru, and smuggled them in his jacket on flights from Lima to Miami and then to Dallas.

Game wardens seized the snakes from Lamar's home in Tyler.

Peruvian law prohibits the exportation of wild live animals coming from the forest or jungle unless the exporter has the proper paperwork.

Lamar faces up to five years in prison.

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environmental_lady wrote:
How is that the TSA didn't catch him right away with smuggled snakes in his jackets? That is a colossal failure!
on June 18,2013 | 01:00PM
RichardCory wrote:
I'm going to guess it has something to do with snakes not being made out of metal. Just a thought.
on June 18,2013 | 04:32PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Yup. The TSA never catches the huge hebi in my trousers.
on June 18,2013 | 05:30PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Couldn't an X-ray machine at the airport spot a snake in one's jacket? You can't even smuggle fruits to Hawaii. If one can smuggle a snake on a plane, this bodes ill for Hawaii. TSA in Hawaii should have a snake sniffing dog at each gate to prevent smuggling of snakes if X-ray machines can't catch them.
on June 18,2013 | 05:54PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Now there's an idea - Hawaii can use mongoose(s) to detect snakes being smuggled in.
on June 18,2013 | 07:24PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Organic material appears almost clear when viewed through an x-ray airport device. There are approximately 2,700 varieties of snakes in the world with each having a slightly different scent. It would be impossible to train a dog to identify these many varieties. The only solution is to force the civil servants to enforce the law. Sadly they are directly responsible for this being one of the longest standing jokes her that in the end does noting to protect our environment.
on June 18,2013 | 10:45PM
copperwire9 wrote:
And you should be willing to pay the increased taxes that will allow our underfunded departments to do their jobs better. Is that okay with you? I think it would be fine, personally.
on June 19,2013 | 12:11AM
bumbye wrote:
I always check the Amnesty Bin at the airport just for fun when I return from the mainland. There's usually only gum in there.
on June 18,2013 | 11:13PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Uh, 'failure,' as in the guy didn't get caught??? C'mon.
on June 19,2013 | 12:09AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
If he arrived in Honolulu our over paid civil servants over at DLNR would have just taken the reptiles and not charged him with any crime. Why do we even have a $200,000 penalty on the books if it never has been, or never will be, enforced?
on June 18,2013 | 04:04PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Overpaid? Seriously? I defy you to live on their salaries.
on June 19,2013 | 12:12AM
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