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Man with lizards strapped to chest arrested

December 21, 2009 12:19:04 AM PST
A Lomita man was arraigned in federal court Monday on charges that he tried to smuggle live lizards into the country. The U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service says 40-year-old Michael Plank strapped 15 lizards onto his chest. Plank was returning from Australia when he was arrested at LAX after trying to get through customs.

Authorities say the lizards are estimated to be worth more than $8,000.

Plank is facing up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. He was released on $10,000 bond.

No further court dates were announced at his Monday hearing in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.