DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – It wasn’t your every day contraband.
Canadian authorities are accusing a man of trying to smuggle 70 live turtles and tortoises into the country through the border crossing at Detroit.
The Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV report 22-year-old Xin Hong Tong of Windsor, Ontario, was stopped July 6 by border agents after crossing the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor. Authorities say inspectors found the animals in two boxes in the vehicle Tong was driving.
Tong has been charged with smuggling, non-reporting, making false statements and attempting to evade duties and taxes.
According to the Canada Border Services Agency, he could face further charges under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.
“The CBSA administers over 90 pieces of legislation that includes those on behalf of other government departments and agencies that govern the admissibility of people and goods into and out of Canada, including plants and animals,” Tamara Allard, Acting District Director of Ambassador Bridge Operations, said in a news release.
Tong was released pending an Aug. 12 court hearing in Windsor. The Associated Press couldn’t find a listed phone number for Tong.
Authorities took the turtles and tortoises and released them into the custody of Environment Canada.
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