US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Live Snakes Seized in Parcel By CBP at JFK International Mail Facility

Release Date: 
July 11, 2017

JAMAICA, N.Y. — While not exactly ‘Snakes on a Plane’, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility (IMF) seized five live juvenile King Cobras during an inspection.

Live Juvenile King Cobra Snakes JFK International Mail Facility
Live Juvenile King Cobra Snakes JFK
International Mail Facility

On June 29, CBP officers assigned to the IMF conducted an examination of express mail from Hong Kong. The contents of one package were described as a “plastic tray,” but an x-ray showed what appeared to be snakes in a round container.

CBP contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to examine the package further. The outer box was carefully opened, revealing a styrofoam casing with rows of holes. FWS determined that the package did contain live snakes. The parcel contained five juvenile King Cobras and three Geckos. CBP seized the package and turned it over to FWS for further investigation.

“Our CBP officers perform numerous daily tasks to protect the United States from potential dangers. This seizure demonstrates our wide ranging responsibility in protecting our borders and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," said Leon Hayward, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021