SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Southern California couple convicted of smuggling more than 900 endangered sea turtle eggs into the United States from Mexico has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Authorities said Jose and Olga Jimenez of Hemet tried to smuggle the eggs into the U.S. in 2014 in coolers under layers of ice, fish and shrimp. At Friday’s sentencing, a federal judge said the eggs did not survive being packed in ice for a 26-hour bus ride to the border.
The eggs are considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac in Asia, where they may sell for hundreds of dollars.
The Jimenez’s initially faced up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines, but prosecutors agreed to drop several charges when they agreed to a plea deal.
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