The Canada Border Services Agency announced on Tuesday that a Windsor, Ont., man has been accused of trying to smuggle more than 70 live turtles and tortoises into Canada at the Ambassador Bridge.
The agency said that on July 6, a 22-year-old man arrived at the crossing between Windsor and Detroit. He spoke with an agent upon arriving at the border but was then referred for a secondary inspection.
While searching the man's vehicle, officers claim they discovered two boxes containing live turtles and tortoises hidden within a storage compartment normally used for stowing the vehicle’s seats.
Officers arrested and charged the man with not reporting the animals, making false statements, attempting to evade payment of duties and taxes and smuggling contrary to the Customs Act.
Environment Canada was contacted and enforcement officers took the reptiles and continue to investigate.
The CBSA says further charges are pending under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.
"The CBSA administers over 90 pieces of legislation that includes those on behalf of other Government departments and agencies that govern the admissibility of people and goods into and out of Canada, including plants and animals," Tamara Allard, Acting District Director, Ambassador Bridge Operations, said in a media release.