LOS ANGELES — Federal officials say they arrested a man who strapped 15 live lizards to his chest to get through customs at Los Angeles International Airport.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that 40-year-old Michael Plank of Lomita, Calif., was returning from Australia when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks – another type of lizard – fastened to his body Tuesday.
Plank has been released on $10,000 bond and will be arraigned in federal court on Dec. 21.
Authorities say the lizards' value totals more than $8,500. All Australian reptiles are strictly regulated and Plank did not have a permit for them.