- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Canadian college student has pleaded guilty to smuggling or attempting to smuggle thousands of turtles from southeastern Michigan, more than a year after he was caught at a border crossing with 51 snappers taped to his body.

Kai Xu ordered turtles online and would travel to the U.S. to ship them to China or return with them to Canada.

Xu pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Ann Arbor. He’s a 27-year-old student at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

In September 2014, Xu was caught with turtles taped to his body in plastic. It’s illegal to export wildlife from the U.S. without a license from the government.

Xu faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison although his sentence won’t be that high.

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