California man pleads guilty in live coral smuggling scheme
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man who tried to smuggle federally protected live corals out from California to Mexico by packing them into potato chip canisters has pleaded guilty to a federal charge.
City News Service says Jorge Vazquez entered the plea Monday. He could face up to a year in federal prison.
Prosecutor say that in 2013, the Garden Grove man tried to illegally ship about 70 invertebrates, including 27 live corals, to Mexican customers by packing them into Pringles cans that were hidden in his mother’s luggage.
They were discovered during a baggage inspection at Los Angeles International Airport.
Vazquez isn’t a U.S. citizen and could face deportation after he’s sentenced.