Man Who Smuggled 15 Lizards To LAX Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man was sentenced to 15 months in prison Wednesday for strapping 15 live lizards to his chest to get through customs at Los Angeles International Airport.

Michael Plank of Lomita is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

He pleaded guilty last year to smuggling wildlife into the United States. Along with the prison term, a judge ordered Plank, 42, to pay a $2,000 fine and serve three years under supervised release after he is freed from federal custody.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Plank was returning from Australia in 2009 when customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 smaller lizards fastened to his body.

The lizards were valued at $8,500. All Australian reptiles are strictly regulated, and Plank didn’t have a permit for them.

The confiscated reptiles are at the San Diego Zoo.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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