Yes, we’ve got laws for everything in the “Land of the Free.” Even which animals you can keep as pets. Though if you’re rich enough, you can keep humans as pets, as the American elite do.
Do you think there are “task forces” and million dollar budgets devoted entirely to policing illegal reptiles?
You bet. US Fish and Wildlife has its own enforcement division, and its own army of SWATzis. They’ve got their own intel and surveillance division. They ALSO keep their own army of informants – never leave home without ’em.
“The suspect is leaving the car…with a cage in his hand! Move into position…”
All agents working for the USG are similar. They hate “criminals” who think they can get away with it. They’ve got a big white hat. They always want to build a bigger case and tie together “conspiracies.”
Beware the TRULY penitentiary man, the man who truly believes the guilty must be punished. He is capable of any atrocity. Look out for those who really believe in good and evil – of course, with them being all good.
The Americans Police Motto: Jail the small criminals, serve the big ones.
Thus our story begins…
National Geographic: Banged Up Abroad: Snakes on a Plane
Today’s study is 45 minutes long. The t/p is 1996 in the USA/Belize.
Tom Crutchfield worked in the flooring department. He was big in the reptile trade. He sold and imported exotic reptiles illegally.
They used to just catch certain reptiles and put them in the suitcase. Already I smelled informants. He involved too many people. Told too many.
A customs agent opened the bag and passed out. Everyone ran over. She and him just walked out. Didn’t look at anybody.
80% of illegal reptiles go to the US. Trips financed trips. “It’s for a pet.” They opened a reptile shop.
The king cobra was the holy grail. Tire it out by making it strike. He could have sent it from Thailand. He decided to take it on the plane.
***A good smuggler will not act weird. Don’t think about the consequences. Don’t sweat***
Illegal reptile smuggling can carry a sentence of 5 years. “Did you pack a king cobra in your luggage?” The bag had gone to Amsterdam. Drug dogs smelled the snake in the box. Customs in Holland kept the snake.
From that moment on, they were under surveillance.
1993 Operation Chameleon set up to capture biggest reptile smugglers.
Tom’s shops were making over a million a year. Getting big and hot. Everyone talked about him.
The deal was done right in front of a window. The agents wanted to build a bigger case.
He was sent to Hattieville Prison. Overcrowded and violent, just like American ones. Prisoners slept on the floor. No toilets. No running water. 5 people/cell.
They stick him in a cell with one man. It took many months to go through the Belizian court system. His wife wanted to return to Murka.
***”I just wanted it over.” Many people say this about the American justice system.***
Tom went to Belize. The case was big enough for extradition. He started a car rental business. His wife divorced him after it was all done.