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Queens Man Sentenced for Smuggling Snakes


ALBANY, NEW YORK – Calvin Bautista, age 38, of Richmond Hill, New York, was sentenced today to one year of probation and fined $5,000 for smuggling three Burmese pythons into the United States at the Champlain Port of Entry.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Ryan Noel, Regional Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, made the announcement.

Bautista previously admitted that on July 15, 2018, he smuggled three Burmese pythons in his pants as he rode on a bus that crossed the U.S.-Canadian border at the Champlain Port of Entry in Clinton County, New York. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers discovered the snakes while reviewing Bautista’s passport and conducting a border search. The young adult snakes were in snake bags attached to Bautista’s pants near his inner thigh. Bautista did not obtain the required permits and documentation to import the snakes into the United States. As their name suggests, Burmese pythons are not native to North America and are an invasive species.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and CBP investigated this case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping prosecuted this case.

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