Man Crossing Border Caught Smuggling Burmese Pythons In His Pants

by SharonKurheg

People have tried to smuggle things across borders since the time that borders were first established. They’ve just gotten more creative with it over the centuries.

Cigarettes are the most smuggled product in the world (the main goal is tax evasion), but watches, liquor and drugs are, of course, all up there, as well.

Also on the list of “things most smuggled?” Exotic animals. And let’s just say I’ve heard of snakes on a plane…but snakes in your PANTS?

Authorities arrested a New York man after he attempted to smuggle three Burmese pythons in his pants while crossing into the United States from Canada, the U.S. Department of Justice announced earlier this month.

The Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York says Calvin Bautista, 36, from Richmond Hill (Queens), New York, tried to smuggle the snakes in his pants in July, 2018, while legally crossing into the U.S. on a bus at the Champlain Port of Entry in New York.

While inspecting the Greyhound bus Bautista was on, Customs and Border Protection officials noticed the man’s pants had “visible bulges” in them, an agency spokesperson said in a statement.

“Further inspection revealed python snakes concealed in fabric bags,” the statement read.

Native to the jungles and grassy marshes of Southeast Asia, Burmese pythons are among the largest snakes on Earth. They’re capable of reaching 23 feet or more in length and weighing up to 200 pounds, with a girth as big as a telephone pole. They’re considered docile, at least in comparison to other giant snakes. However they’re still very powerful animals, and are capable of inflicting severe bites and even killing by constriction.

Importation of these snakes is regulated by an international treaty and by federal regulations listing them as “injurious to human beings.”

Bautista was arraigned in federal court on October 4th, and was released pending a trial. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The charge filed against Bautista carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years, if convicted.

Feature Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis / Facebook

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Rich October 17, 2022 - 6:24 pm

Bautista was caught at the border crossing at Champlain, New York, entering from Quebec. He was charged in the Northern District of New York. He’s from Queens. Why on earth does the picture include the governor of Florida, with what looks like a Florida flag in the background?

SharonKurheg October 17, 2022 - 6:30 pm

Good question.We’re limited in what photos we can use – they need to be public domain or at least have stated permission or licensing permission to repost them – government photos from the U.S. fit that criteria. I was also specifically looking for a photo that showed how large a Burmese python was (read: a photo with a Burmese Python and people in it as a size comparison). That photo fit the bill. 🙂

Gene October 17, 2022 - 6:47 pm

If only the python would wrap itself around the guy in the blue sport coat and squeeze….

AlohaDaveKennedy October 17, 2022 - 10:33 pm

Gene, we have enough trouble with these snakes in the Everglades – they kill alligators who create the wallows that our wildlife needs to survive in dry spells. As a Democrat, you are welcome to take a free Everglades dinner swamp tour anytime. Ron will provide you with your flashlight over at Shark Valley and you can walk right out and provide the dinner.


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