Turtle smuggler from Canada snapped with 57 months in prison

Posted at 1:05 PM, Apr 12, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Canadian man who repeatedly entered Michigan to buy and ship thousands of turtles to his native China has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for smuggling.

It’s a tough punishment for Kai Xu, who has been locked up for 19 months since his arrest and had hoped to be released. The 27-year-old has said he was partly trying to make money for college. Xu apologized Tuesday for his “greed.”

The government says Xu shipped turtles to China from Canada and the U.S., or hired someone to fly to China with turtles in their luggage.

In 2014, he was caught at the Ontario, Canada, border with 51 turtles taped to his legs.

He was a student at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.