Oxnard-Mann pleads guilty to smuggling reptiles into the United States and faces 20 years in prison

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — José Perez, 30, of Oxnard, pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles to smuggling more than 1,700 reptiles into the United States, including 60 reptiles hidden in his clothing.

He is accused of transporting the animals to his family’s Ventura County home and selling them to customers in the United States

He filed two counts of smuggling and trafficking in wildlife.

Prosecutors say Perez and his accomplices used social media to smuggle animals out of Mexico and Hong Kong.

The smuggled reptiles included Yucatan box turtles, Mexican box turtles, baby crocodiles and Mexican beaded lizards, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice.

The smuggled reptiles were worth about $739,000, authorities estimated.

Perez faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

AP contributed to this report.

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https://abc7.com/oxnard-man-guilty-reptile-smuggling-los-angeles-federal-court/12163426/ Oxnard-Mann pleads guilty to smuggling reptiles into the United States and faces 20 years in prison

Laura Coffey

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