BUFFALO, N.Y. — A man who was caught trying to sneak snakes into Canada in his socks has pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors in Buffalo say 28-year-old Chaoyi Le faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to violating wildlife regulations.

He was arrested in 2014 at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge in western New York after Canadian border agents discovered three live albino western hognose snakes hidden in his socks. At first, Le said he’d found them in a New York park, but eventually admitted buying them.

Authorities say Le, a Chinese citizen who lives in Mississauga, Ontario, was trying to avoid a U.S. Fish and Wildlife inspection.

Court documents say that on the same day, Le also mailed several snakes from New York to China.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 30.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.