A Windsor man was arrested trying to enter Canada via Detroit when border officials noticed strange bulges in his sweatpants.
Canadian Border Security Agents pulled Kai Xu over and discovered 41 turtles taped to his legs and another 10 hidden between his legs.
(Seriously? That’s the best sentence I’m going to write all week.)
An alert USPS employee first noticed something was wrong when Xu picked up a package in Detroit which had been sent from Alabama.
The message on the box was inscribed with the the words LIVE FISH KEEP COOL.
After Xu picked up the package, he emptied the contents into baggies, according to an affidavit.
He disappeared, allegedly, between two trailers and emerged with no baggies or other packaging. But his sweatpants appeared noticeably lumpier.
Xu, 26, is an engineering student from the University of Windsor and a Canadian citizen.
He was charged with smuggling, illegal trading and exporting. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Early Wednesday, Xu and a second Canadian man, Lihua Lin, 30, were arrested after Lin tried to fly to Shanghai, China from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with more than 200 turtles hidden in his luggage.
It’s not clear if the two men were working in conjunction with each other.
The turtles found on Xu included a range of North American species including eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders (an invasive species), diamondback terrapins and others.
They could have sold for up to $800 each and some of the species are valued as pets in Southeast Asia. The turtles have now been turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.