TSA: Man tried to smuggle snakes and turtles in his pants - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

TSA: Man tried to smuggle snakes and turtles in his pants

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LOS ANGELES, CA AND MIAMI, FL (WIS) - Snakes on a Plane, it wasn't... However, it could have been snakes, turtles and birds on a plane if agents with the Transportation Security Administration hadn't been on the lookout last week!

In the span of two days and on two different coasts, two people tried to board planes in the United States concealing exotic reptiles and birds, according to a recent Transportation Security Administration blog post.

The first incident happened at Miami International Airport on August 25. A TSA body scanner alerted agents to some out-of-the-ordinary items in a man's pants. After a search, agents found seven small exotic snakes and three small turtles stuffed in woman's hosiery.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers took custody of the reptiles and the man, who was trying to board a flight to Brazil, was arrested and charged with violating the Lacey Act.  

Under the Lacey Act, it is illegal to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of U.S. or Indian law, or in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken possessed or sold in violation of State or foreign law.

The second incident happened the very next day at Los Angeles International Airport. This time, a woman was identified for a pat-down because her clothing looked "bulky," agents said. Agents discovered two endangered birds wrapped inside socks which were taped to her chest and leg.

The woman did not make her flight to China and was arrested on suspicion of smuggling and exporting an endangered species out of the United States.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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