New York man who smuggled pythons into the US in his pants sentenced, fined $5k

A New York City man was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation and a $5,000 fine for smuggling a Burmese python from Canada into the United States in 2018.

Calvin Bautista, 38, of Richmond Hill, New York, after previously admitting to smuggling three Burmese pythons into the United States on a bus from Montreal to the Big Apple on July 15, 2018. He was sentenced in the Northern District of New York. News release from U.S. Attorney Carla B. Friedman.

His bus passed through the Champlain Port of Entry in Clinton County, New York.

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A New York man was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation and a $5,000 fine for smuggling three Burmese pythons from Canada into the United States in 2018. (Lorna Wise/AFP via Getty Images)

Freedman said the python was discovered when Customs and Border Protection agents were examining Bautista’s passport and conducting a border search. The young adult snake was in a snake bag attached to the inner thigh of his pants.

Burmese pythons are not native to North America and are considered an invasive species, and Bautista did not have the necessary permits or documents to bring them into the country.

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Bautista bought the snake at a reptile store in Canada, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press. They were worth more than $2,500.

The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes in the world and is considered an endangered species in its native Asia.

person holding a burmese python

An invasive Burmese python, considered an invasive species in North America, was captured in southern Florida. (FWC photo by Andy Wraithmell)


The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and CBP and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Wentworth Pinn.

Bautista’s lawyer had no comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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