Belfast Telegraph

Man smuggled tarantulas into the US

A German who posted hundreds of tarantulas into the US has been jailed for six months.

Judge James Otero sentenced 37-year-old Sven Koppler in Los Angeles. Koppler also must pay £2,500 in fines and will be placed on three years of probation.

Koppler pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods into the US.

Prosecutors say Koppler mailed more than 240 live tarantulas from Germany to Los Angeles last year. Fish and Wildlife Service agents intercepted the packages, then posed as customers and ordered dozens more spiders including a protected Mexican species.

Authorities say Koppler made nearly £225,000 by selling spiders to people in dozens of countries.

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