18-year-old Luis Eudoro Valencia Sentenced Tuesday To 6 Months In Jail After Attempting To Smuggle A Tiger Cub Into San Diego, CA

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An 18-year-old convicted of trying to smuggle a Bengal tiger cub into San Diego from Mexico late last year was sentenced in court on Tuesday.

Luis Eudoro Valencia of Perris, California, received six months in prison and three years of supervised release for his attempt to smuggle the 6-pound tiger cub, that was thought to be between five and six weeks old at the time, into the country.

According to ABC 7 in San Diego, Valencia’s defense attorney explained in court that his client who initially claimed that the tiger was a cat and provided false paperwork from AeroMexico cargo had a “lapse in judgment.”

Prosecutors, however, argued that Valencia’s cell phone data revealed that he was, in fact, running an animal smuggling business which included the sale of monkeys, lions, and tigers among other exotic and endangered animals for thousands of dollars.

Valencia originally claimed to have purchased his new “pet” from a man that was walking an adult tiger on a leash in Tijuana for $300.00.

The cub, now named Moka and living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, was rescued from the back of Valencia’s car at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

Tigers are a critically endangered species and it is illegal to import them into the U.S. without a permit.

As recently reported by WAN, on February 7th, another tiger cub was rescued by authorities from a plastic container after someone tried to mail the animal from the state of Jalisco to Querétaro, Mexico.

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