Man smuggled 240 live tarantulas
Published 19/01/2011 | 09:41
A man has agreed to plead guilty to a smuggling charge for bringing hundreds of tarantulas into the United States by mail, court documents have revealed.
Sven Koppler, 37, of Wachtberg, Germany, signed a plea agreement over the weekend involving one count of smuggling goods into the US, according to the documents.
He could face up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on April 11.
Federal prosecutors say Koppler mailed more than 240 live tarantulas from Germany to Los Angeles last year. Fish and Wildlife Service agents intercepted the packages then posed as customers and ordered dozens more spiders, including a protected Mexican species.
Authorities claim Koppler made 300,000 dollars (£187,000) by selling spiders to people in dozens of countries.