US returns 7 smuggled snakes to Brazilian government
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it’s returned to Brazil seven boa constrictors seized in a case of wildlife smuggling.
The seven snakes are the surviving offspring of a rare boa constrictor that federal officials say was illegally taken out of Brazil by a Utah-based collector of reptiles.
That man, Jeremy Stone, kept the white boa on his property and marketed snakes that were bred from it.
Stone pleaded guilty last year to wildlife smuggling and, as part of his deal with authorities, agreed to forfeit the snake’s offspring to the United States.
A judge later awarded the boa constrictors to Brazil after the Brazilian government claimed ownership.