Man Arrested in Los Angeles for Allegedly Smuggling Hundreds of Tarantulas to U.S.



A man accused of smuggling hundreds of tarantulas into the U.S. is under arrest after federal agents spun an undercover web to catch him.

The U.S. attorney's office says 37-year-old Sven Koppler of Wachtberg, Germany, was arrested Thursday after arriving in Los Angeles.

A criminal complaint says Koppler mailed more than 500 live tarantulas from Germany to Los Angeles.

Fish and Wildlife Service agents intercepted the packages then posed as customers and ordered dozens more spiders, including a protected Mexican species.

Prosecutors claim Koppler made $300,000 by selling spiders to people in dozens of countries.

Koppler remains jailed. If convicted of wildlife smuggling, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.