German man charged with smuggling tarantulas to the US

by Shannon Lee
A German man was arrested and charged Friday with illegally mailing over 500 live tarantulas to the United States.
Authorities began investigating Sven Koppler, 37, in March when 300 live tarantulas were discovered during a standard international package check.
Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set up a sting operation and intercepted more packages.
One package contained 22 Mexican red-kneed tarantulas, a species that is considered threatened and cannot be legally traded without a permit, reported AOL News.
Koppler reportedly received $300,000 from the sales. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Williams told the Los Angeles Times Koppler sold tarantulas to "dozens of countries, including to about nine people in the U.S."
If convicted, Koppler faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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This page contains a single entry by Shannon published on December 3, 2010 3:59 PM.

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