Chinese flight attendant who tried to smuggle dozens of turtles from LA pleads guilty
The 45 turtles could have been worth more than US$40,000
US federal prosecutors say a flight attendant for a Chinese airline has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle nearly two dozen spotted and box turtles in a carry-on bag from Los Angeles to China.
The US Attorney’s Office says Huaqian Qu, a Chinese national, entered his plea Thursday to a charge of conspiracy.
He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced July 23.
Officials say Qu and a fellow flight crew member with China Eastern Airlines tried to unlawfully export a total of 45 turtles that are protected under international trade law.
The turtles could have been worth more than US$40,000 in Asia.
City News Service says the co-defendant is expected to plead guilty on Friday.