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A man who was caught with more than 50 live turtles hidden in his trousers has pleaded guilty to six smuggling charges in court in Michigan.
A young turtle
A Chinese man, Kai Xu , has been caught at a US border crossing with 51 turtles taped underneath his trousers.
Accoring to Sky News, Xu has admitted smuggling charges involving more than 1,000 of the reptiles.
Xu said he ordered the turtles online and wanted to travel to Michigan to take them back to his home in Canada, or ship them to China.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty on Tuesday to six offences in a federal court in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Prosecutors said Xu’s “staggering” turtle shipments could earn him between $30,000 (£20,000) and $125,000.
Sky News reports that Xu had been under surveillance in the weeks leading up to his arrest near Detroit in September 2014. Wildlife agents observed him collecting a box at a United Parcel Service facility before disappearing behind some lorries only to emerge with “irregularly shaped bulges” under his tracksuit bottoms.
However, Xu was stopped by Canadian border authorities as he drove back to Ontario with the 51 reptiles taped to his legs, including box turtles and terrapins.
Reptiles had also been hidden in shipments of corn flakes and boots, the court was told.
He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.