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Snake smuggler foiled at Orlando airport

Aug. 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A man attempting to smuggle 27 snakes from Florida to Brazil in stereo speakers was caught at the airport, U.S. officials said.

Mateus Dal Maso bought the snakes at the Daytona Beach, Fla., National Reptile Breeders Expo allegedly with the intent to illegally export them to Brazil, U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities said.

He was detained at Orlando International Airport after the snakes showed up in X-ray scans of stereo speakers he had in his luggage.

Dal Maso admitted to federal agents he was concealing the snakes, valued at $10,000, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Friday. Dal Maso was found guilty of exporting illegal merchandise and fined $6,000 after spending two days in Orange County, Fla., jail.

The status of the snakes wasn't reported.

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