Man Pleads Guilty to Shipping Lizards From Philippines to US

Some lizards were sold to customers in other states

Lizard Smuggling
Eric Suarez/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP, File

A New Hampshire man who smuggled rare lizards from the Philippines to the U.S. by hiding them in socks and placing them inside electronic equipment has pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors say 26-year-old Derrick Semedo pleaded guilty in Boston on Tuesday to trafficking in protected wildlife in violation of U.S. and Philippines law and international wildlife treaties.

Authorities say from March to December 2016, the Nashua, New Hampshire, man imported 20 live lizards by placing them in socks, sealing the socks with tape, then concealing them in the back panels of audio speakers or other electronic equipment. The equipment was shipped via commercial carriers to Semedo.

Some lizards were then sold to customers in other states.

He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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