POSTED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 1:07pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 4:07pm
EL PASO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry seized hundreds of pieces of exotic animal skins last Thursday.
The skins and wallets made from exotic skins were turned over to the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. The driver of the vehicle was assessed a $500 penalty.
"CBP officers enforce hundreds of laws for dozens of federal agencies including fish and wildlife," said CBP Santa Teresa Port Director Joanne Thale-Lembo. "This incident was a clear case of someone trying to circumvent laws intended to protect wildlife."
Agents said the driver of the vehicle made a negative declaration for any goods to the CBP officer working the primary inspection booth.
CBP officers recovered 332 python skins, six python skin wallets and five armadillo skin wallets. The driver was assessed a $500 penalty for failure to declare. The seized items were turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers.