Skip to main content
Press Release

Queens Man Charged With Smuggling Snakes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Calvin Bautista, age 36, of Richmond Hill, New York, was arraigned today on an indictment charging him with smuggling three Burmese pythons into the United States at the Champlain Port of Entry.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, and Ryan Noel, Regional Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.

Bautista smuggled the snakes in his pants as he rode on a bus that crossed the U.S.-Canadian border. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

Bautista was arraigned today in Albany, before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel, and released pending a trial before Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping.

Updated October 4, 2022