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A Pantload Of Pythons At The Border Near Montreal? A Dude Got Charged With Snake Smuggling

He thought he could slither away with this one.

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
US-Canada border crossing. Right: Two pythons.

US-Canada border crossing. Right: Two pythons.

You know the saying ants in your pants? Well, try pythons instead — Burmese pythons to be exact. A 36-year-old man was arraigned on an indictment charging him with smuggling three Burmese pythons into the United States at the Champlain-St. Bernard de Lacolle Border Crossing in Quebec. Talk about a sentence you never thought you'd read, right?

Calvin Bautista, of Richmond Hill, New York, smuggled the three snakes in his pants as he travelled across the U.S.-Canada border on a bus. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Ryan Noel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and it states that the charges in the indictment at the moment are "merely accusations."

"The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty," the press release says. If found guilty, Bautista will face a slew of consequences including possible prison time and hefty fines. In fact, the attorney's office of the northern district of New York says that Bautista could face a maximum of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

The defendant was charged in Albany on October 4 and was later released pending a trial before a senior United States district judge. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating the incident.

According to National Geographic, Burmese pythons are among the biggest snakes on Earth — capable of reaching up to 23 feet in length and up to 200 pounds.

Where does one procure not one, but three of 'em in Quebec, anyway?

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Mike Chaar
    Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
    Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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