A man was arrested in California, USA, on July 25, after customs agents intercepted a package containing three live king cobras stuffed inside cans of potato chips. Rodrigo Franco, 34, who was set to receive the package, has been arrested on federal charges, reports a press release from the Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office. The package, shipped from Hong Kong, also contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, besides the 2-feet-long cobras.
The agents initially removed the cobras and delivered the turtles to Mr Franco's house.
They then obtained a search warrant to investigate his property and also discovered a tank containing a live baby Morelet's crocodile and tanks containing alligator snapping turtles, a common snapping turtle, and five diamond back terrapins - all of which are protected species.
Mr Franco also admitted during questioning to having received 20 king cobras in two prior shipments - but he said all of those snakes had died in transit.
If convicted on smuggling charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
King cobras are the world's longest venomous snakes, and, when provoked, can be highly aggressive.
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