NYC man facing possible 20-year sentence for smuggling pythons in pants

ALBANY, N.Y. — A Queens, New York, man was charged Tuesday with smuggling three Burmese pythons into the United States by stuffing them in his pants.

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Calvin Bautista, 36, is accused of bringing the hidden snakes on a bus that crossed into northern New York from Canada at the Champlain port of entry on July 15, 2018.

Importation of Burmese pythons is regulated by an international treaty and by federal regulations listing them as “injurious to human beings,” according to a news release issued by the office of U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman.

According to federal prosecutors, the charge carries the potential for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine as high as $250,000, according to federal prosecutors.

The Burmese python, one of the world’s largest snakes, is considered a vulnerable species in its native Asia and is invasive in Florida, where it threatens native animals.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.