LOS ANGELES (WKRG) — Customs agents in Los Angeles got quite a scare when they opened a shipment of potato chips and discovered three live king cobras.
The shipment was on its way to a man in the L.A. suburb of Monterey Park, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Officers with Customs and Border Protection intercepted the package, which came from Hong Kong. They said the package also contained three albino soft-shelled turtles.
Authorities seized the snakes, but they allowed the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the turtles. As soon as the man accepted the package, agents with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service moved in to search the property.
A search of the home led to the discovery of even more animals, including a baby crocodile, snapping turtles and diamondback terrapins — all of which are protected species.
The man, identified as 34-year-old Rodrigo Franco, is now facing federal smuggling charges.
Franco could face up to 20 years in prison.