A man has been charged with federal smuggling crimes after he was allegedly found trying to cross from Detroit into Canada with 51 live turtles in his pants, it was reported Thursday.
According to the Detroit Free Press, a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit said Kai Xu, a Canadian citizen, was trying to return to Windsor, Ontario, with the live reptiles tucked in baggies around his legs.
The newspaper reported that Gavin Shire of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated the case against Xu and said there is a large demand for turtles in Asia — and not necessarily for pets.
There’s “a lot of both illegal and unregulated turtle consumption,” Shire told the paper.
Xu was stopped and arrested Aug. 5, but the criminal complaint was filed in court Tuesday.