In what was clearly a slow day in LA, two turtle smugglers were arrested after customs officers found over 50 live turtles hidden in snack food boxes. Atsushi Yamagami and Norihide Ushirozako were placed under arrest on Friday at the LA International Airport. Both are charged with illegally importing wildlife, and violating the endangered species act.
In a worst case scenario, both Japanese nationals face up to 21 years in prison. Araignments have been penciled in for January 31st.
The operation called Operation Flying Turtle (OFT!) which began about a year ago, involved undercover agents who infiltrated and purchased 10 turtles from a person linked to the two smugglers.
Silly smugglers, don’t they know that turtles don’t belong in snack food boxes? Turtles are delicious, but they must be cooked at length and eaten very slowly.