King Cobra is a venomous snake and found in forests in India and Southeast Asia. The deadly reptile is in the top list for exotic snake charmers, but can you imagine someone having it as a pet? In a shocking discovery, a man has been arrested for exactly the same reason.
A huge smuggling racket was busted in California, USA, on July 25 when customs agents caught a package containing three live King Cobras inside potato chip cans. Sharing the explicit details of the scam, the Department of Justice, US Attorney’s Office, released a press release saying, “Rodrigo Franco, 34, who was set to receive the package, has been arrested on federal charges.”
— US Attorney L.A. (@CDCANews) July 25, 2017
To bust the con, the agents kept the cobras to themselves and delivered the turtles to his house. Soon after, they got a search warrant to investigate his property and also discovered a tank containing a live baby Morelet’s crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins. All the animals are known to be protected species.
Shipped all the way from Hong Kong, the package also had three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, along with the two-feet-long cobras. As shocking as it may sound, Franco later admitted to having received as many as 20 king cobras in two prior shipments. However, he added that all of those snakes died in transit.
While the investigation is still on, if he is convicted, he may be sentenced to twenty years in prison.