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#2767: Fla. Man Pleads Guilty of Smuggling (fwd)
Tuesday March 7 8:31 PM ET Fla. Man Pleads Guilty of Smuggling
MIAMI (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to smuggle at
least $120,000 worth of rare and protected reptiles into the United
States from Haiti and the Peruvian Amazon. Philip David Langston, 47, of
Naples admitted to smuggling and selling a variety of animals in south
Florida in 1994 and 1995. Those included 60 rhinoceros iguanas from
Haiti, Caiman lizards, Haitian boas and frog-headed turtles.
The animals are protected under an international treaty. As part of his
scheme, the Department of Justice said Langston ran a ``breeding farm''
in Peru to make it appear that the Amazon species were bred in captivity
rather than caught in the wild. Langston, a reptile dealer since 1992,
will surrender his U.S. Fish and Wildlife import-export license under
terms of the plea agreement. He faces up to five years in prison and a
$250,000 fine when sentenced May 26 on the felony conspiracy charge.