A man was arrested at a U.S. airport for trying to smuggle 27 snakes hidden in two stereo speakers in his luggage onto a plane to Brazil, but which were detected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
The Brazilian Mateus Dal Maso tried to take the snakes, including seven boas, as contraband on a flight to Brazil, after buying them at the National Reptile Breeders Expo in Daytona Beach on Florida’s east coast, the daily Orlando Sentinel said in its online edition.
The incident occurred Wednesday at Orlando International Airport when customs agents detected the reptiles in the man’s luggage during an X-ray scan.
Dal Maso had wrapped the snakes with nylon stockings and hid them in the speakers inside his luggage, but when customs agents asked him what he had in his suitcase, he denied there was anything but the sound equipment.
He later had to admit transporting hidden reptiles worth an estimated $10,000 when the agents took him to a separate area of the airport terminal from which his flight was to take off for Sao Paulo, according to the daily.
Officials said the man had one ball python, seven boas and 19 corn snakes.
The passenger was “found guilty of exporting illegal merchandise, served two days in the Orange County Jail and fined $6,000,” the newspaper said.