16 charged in Southern California animal trafficking sweep

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TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — From a baby tiger cub to monitor lizards and a macaw, authorities have seized dozens of animals and filed charges against 16 people as part of what they say is the largest wildlife trafficking sweep in Southern California.

Federal authorities announced what they're calling "Operation Jungle Book" on Friday.

Among the animals seized are king cobras, turtles, fish and a Bengal tiger cub that a California man said he bought on the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, for $300.

Luis Eudoro Valencia has pleaded not guilty to smuggling the kitten into the U.S. after border officials found the cub lying on the passenger-side floor of his car in August.

If convicted, Valencia faces up to 20 years in prison.

The cub now lives at the San Diego Zoo.

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