NEWS

Kai Xu, Canadian Who Smuggled Turtles In His Pants Expected To Plead Guilty

12/01/2015 11:33 EST | Updated 12/01/2015 11:59 EST
Mint Images - Frans Lanting via Getty Images

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— A Canadian man caught with dozens of turtles inside his pants is getting snapped by the U.S. justice system.

Kai Xu is expected to appear in federal court in Michigan on Tuesday to plead guilty in the smuggling case.

He was arrested last year while returning to Windsor, Ont., with 51 live turtles stuffed down his pants.

Agents say Xu ordered turtles online and would travel to the U.S. to pick them up or ship them to China, where they are worth much more.

According to American court documents, officers with the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted Xu last August as he attempted to cross into Windsor from Detroit.

Xu was found to have 41 live turtles strapped to his legs and 10 hidden between his legs, according to an affidavit from a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which outlined the criminal complaint.

Canadian authorities seized the turtles, which included North American varieties such as eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders and diamondback terrapins— some of which sell for $800 each— and turned them over to American officials.

The investigation had started after a courier company in Detroit tipped the wildlife service to a package that had been shipped from Alabama addressed to Xu.

According to the court documents, agents watched as Xu allegedly opened various boxes in the rear of his SUV, took out several round clear plastic containers, and placed their contents into plastic baggies. He also had packaging tape and scissors.

"Special Agent (James) Fuller noticed irregularly shaped bulges under Xu's sweatpants on both his legs,'' the document states.

Xu then drove toward Windsor, where he was stopped and the turtles found during a secondary inspection.