College student gets 5 years for attempting to cross into Canada with 51 turtles taped to his legs.
Last December we first told you about the absolutely bizarre case of Kai Xu, a Canadian college student who was caught trying to smuggle 51 turtles in his pants across the border from Michigan into Canada.
And now, the man is facing five years in prison for the strange crime!
Xu had taped the 51 turtles to his legs when he attempted to cross the border in September 2014 in Detroit. As it turns out, federal agents already had the 27-year-old college student under suspicion of smuggling crimes and court filings revealed Xu was regularly dealing with large shipments of turtles that were worth way more in Chinese markets than what he originally paid for them.
“In China, the turtles he smuggles are worth to three times the amount he pays here,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward told Mlive.com last December.
While it wasn’t illegal for Xu to have the turtles, Metro.co.uk reports the crime was when he attempted to ship them overseas without the proper permits. At the time the story first broke, it wasn’t entirely clear why Xu would attempt such a silly method of smuggling.
But now authorities are saying Xu was illegally moving turtles as a way to pay for college. He was caught and imprisoned just one semester before he would have graduated.
However, it wasn’t just Xu that was illegally moving the shelled reptiles. Sometimes he hired people to fly to China with the turtles hidden in their luggage. When all shipments are accounted for, Metro.co.uk reports the value of the turtles is up over the $1 million mark.
Luckily for Xu, the sentence is a bit of a break. The 57 month status is reportedly at the low end of the spectrum. He is planning to challenge it.
The story has gotten a lot of media attention since it first broke 19 months ago. And Woodward said Xu’s smuggling operation was one of the largest to happen in recent years, and no doubt, one of the strangest as well.
“We don’t have a whole lot of cases exactly like this every day,” Woodward said.