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College student gets five years in prison after being caught with 51 turtles under his pants

By Mason White 4:05 PM April 13, 2016
The smuggles turtles 

By: Wayne Morin
A college student of Canada, will have to serve 5 years in prison after being caught smuggling more than 50 turtles under his pants, the Justice Department in Michigan said.

Kai Xu, 27, of Windsor, Ontario, pleaded guilty to six counts of smuggling turtles, some of which were endangered, from the United States, in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

At the plea hearing, Xu admitted that on six occasions, he entered the United States from Canada, and went to Fedex and UPS facilities in the metro-Detroit area, where he retrieved packages that contained a variety of different species of live turtles.

Xu then illegally smuggled the turtles out of the country, using three methods. On some instances, Xu repackaged the turtles and shipped them directly to China, concealing the wildlife in snow boots.

On one occasion, Xu taped a total of 51 live turtles to his legs and groin, and returned to Canada.

Finally, on the day of Xu’s arrest, he packaged over 1,000 turtles into suitcases that he sent with a runner he had hired to fly directly from Detroit to Shanghai.

The turtles were recovered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agents. They had been packaged into boots and cereal boxes, and concealed within luggage.

In court, Xu said that he needed the money to pay for his engineering degree from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

It is perfectly legal to buy and sell turtles in the country, but Xu did not have a permit to ship them overseas.