Endangered Turtles Labeled As Snacks Smuggled Into JFK Airport

endangered turtles

A man smuggled endangered turtles into JFK Airport through the international mail facility in an interesting way.

The Queens man hid the turtles in packages labeled as snacks!

The smuggler, Hsien Lin Hsu, a turtle collector “pleaded guilty in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court to the illegal importation of wildlife,” according to Gothamist.

The true identity of Hsu’s “snacks” were discovered back in May when 51 endangered turtles were found by customs agents at JFK Airport in packages addressed to Hsu. There actually were snacks inside the package- noodles and candy which the turtles were hidden underneath.

After discovering the endangered turtles, customs agents raided Hsu’s home and found 135 more turtles. Gothamist mentions that “prosecutors suspect those turtles were also smuggled into New York in bags of candy labeled “snacks.”

Hsu is a Chinese citizen and knew he was breaking the law. He told the agents that he was working with turtle suppliers in Hong Kong to bring the turtles into the US. He now faces a penalty of up to 21 years in prison as well as deportation.

Find out more from Gothamist here.

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