A California teen was sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling a Bengal tiger cub from Mexico.
The defense attorney for 18 year old Luis Valencia told the court in San Diego before his sentencing that his client had had a lapse in judgment and wanted the endangered tiger as a pet.
But prosecutors argued Valencia’s cellphone data showed he was running an animal smuggling business and boasted about making thousands of dollars from monkeys, jaguars and lions.
The 6-week-old tiger cub was found on the passenger-side floor in Valencia’s car last August at a San Diego border checkpoint.
Tigers are an endangered species; it is illegal to import them without a permit.