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Man pleads guilty to smuggling tiger cub into U.S. from Mexico

Man pleads guilty to smuggling tiger cub into U.S. from Mexico

Man pleads guilty to smuggling tiger cub into U.S. from Mexico
December 07
10:09 2017


SAN DIEGO — A man who smuggled a Bengal tiger cub into California from Mexico has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Eighteen-year-old Luis Valencia of Perris entered the plea on Tuesday in San Diego.

The 6-week-old cub was found on the passenger-side floor in Valencia’s car in August at a San Diego border checkpoint.


(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

Tigers are endangered and it’s illegal to import them without a permit.

Valencia told authorities he obtained the animal as a pet but later acknowledged he was bringing it into the U.S. for commercial purposes.


(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

He now faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Another defendant is awaiting trial.

The tiger cub was named Moka and now lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.



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