A Queens man allegedly tried to smuggle three Burmese pythons into the US by stuffing them down his pants and hopping a bus from Canada across the border, officials said.
Calvin Bautista, 36, of Richmond Hill, could face up to 20 years behind bars and a fine that could set him back $250,000 for the crotch-defying stunt.
Bautista was arraigned on the federal charge in Albany Tuesday and released pending his trial, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
It wasn’t clear how large the snakes were or how he was caught, but the statement said he was busted trying to get the reptiles through the Champlain Port of Entry — about an hour south of Montreal.
Burmese pythons aren’t venomous but they’re considered a dangerous animal by the Secretary of the Interior, McClatchey News reported, citing the indictment.
The animals aren’t endangered “but may become so if their trade was not regulated,” the news service stated.
There has been an ongoing effort to remove Burmese pythons from Florida, where the invasive species wreaks havoc in the Everglades, according to biologists. In July, experts announced they’d captured an 18-foot, 215-lb. Burmese python, the largest ever recorded in the state.