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55 live turtles, tortoises smuggled into LAX

January 11, 2011 12:23:53 AM PST
Dozens of turtles and tortoises were seized in an unusual bust at LAX, and two Japanese citizens were arrested on federal animal-smuggling charges.Authorities arrested the two men on Friday after they allegedly brought into the U.S. approximately 55 live turtles and tortoises hidden in snack-food boxes found in a suitcase.

The smuggling charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. They also face one count of violating the Endangered Species Act, which has a penalty of one year in prison.

The two are being held without bond. Their arraignment is set for later this month.