Woman Flees After Trying To Smuggle A Monkey Into The United States

I think most of us would agree that monkeys are interesting animals but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they make great pets. In fact, it is difficult, if not impossible, to own a monkey legally in the United States.

This is something that would be considered common knowledge and more than likely, savanna Nicole Valdes understood that fact as well.

Photo: NARA & DVIDS Public Domain Archive/Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Disclaimer: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement

Even still, the 20-year-old tried to enter the United States from Mexico with a spider monkey in a box.

According to a press release, officers were searching her and wondered what was inside of the box. It had holes cut in it, but she said it was beer that was brought in from Mexico. After they opened the box, they found the monkey inside.

Valdes sped away from the border and left the officers behind. She was on the run for quite some time but eventually, she turned herself into law enforcement. Valdes is now charged with intentionally fleeing law enforcement and importing a monkey illegally without declaring it.

Something else that is interesting is the fact that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that a monkey was on sale and it had her phone number listed as the contact. Sounds like incriminating evidence to me.

Now that Valdes is in custody, you might be wondering what happened to the monkey. It was transferred to an animal rescue in Florida where it’ll be cared for indefinitely.

Since then, Valdes has pleaded guilty to authorities and she is facing the possibility of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The practice of importing these animals illegally was also called out by the acting Special Agent in charge in San Antonio, Craig Larabee.

Photo: Pixabay/Ruth Archer

According to CNN, he said: “Smuggling in endangered species for commercial gain is a tragic crime against nature’s precious resources.”

They weren’t able to confirm what species of spider monkey it was but all of those monkeys are under threat. They are hunted by locals for food and their habitat is being destroyed, which puts them at further risk.

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