Man who allegedly strapped lizards to chest in airport arrested

November 21, 2009 6:28:19 AM PST
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.


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