HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge intercepted 95 specimens of exotic reptiles and insects during an outbound inspection, Aug. 3.
“CBP enforces laws and regulations from many state and federal organizations, exotic reptiles and insects are a rare find and we rely on our law enforcement partners to assist with such findings,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.
CBP officers assigned to the Hidalgo International Bridge encountered a white ford van driven by a 31-year-old Mexican national from Reynosa, Mexico, followed by a red Ford pick-up truck driven by a 50-year-old Mexican national and passenger, a 27-year-old Mexican national man from Reynosa. The vehicles were selected for inspection where two boxes were discovered filled with labeled bags and containers. The bags and containers were contained 95 reptiles and insects varying from snakes, lizards, tortoises, scorpions, and fruit fly cultures.
CBP OFO arrested the individuals and seized the vehicles. The insects and reptiles were turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the case remains under investigation by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI).
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