Man pleads guilty to smuggling tiger cub into US from Mexico - NEWS 95.7
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Man pleads guilty to smuggling tiger cub into US from Mexico

Last Updated Dec 6, 2017 at 11:00 pm AST

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2017, file photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows an agent holding a male tiger cub that was confiscated at the U.S. border crossing at Otay Mesa southeast of downtown San Diego. A man who smuggled a Bengal tiger cub into California from Mexico has pleaded guilty to federal charges. Eighteen-year-old Luis Valencia of Perris entered the plea on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in San Diego. He now faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The tiger cub was named Moka and now lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

SAN DIEGO – A man who smuggled a Bengal tiger cub into California from Mexico has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Eighteen-year-old Luis Valencia of Perris entered the plea on Tuesday in San Diego.

The 6-week-old cub was found on the passenger-side floor in Valencia’s car in August at a San Diego border checkpoint.

Tigers are endangered and it’s illegal to import them without a permit.

Valencia told authorities he obtained the animal as a pet but later acknowledged he was bringing it into the U.S. for commercial purposes.

He now faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Another defendant is awaiting trial.

The tiger cub was named Moka and now lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

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