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Jeff Zito

Afternoons 2pm-7pm

You’d think Florida already had enough reptiles running around, but a local man has been convicted of smuggling in lizards from the Philippines.

44-year-old Akbar Akram pleaded guilty in Tampa federal court Wednesday to one count of wildlife trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act and the the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Treaty, court records show. He’s accused of smuggling water monitor lizards, which he wrapped inside socks and hid inside electronic equipment shipped from the Philippines to the U.S.

Prosecutors say the forbidden lizards were then sold to clients in Colorado, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.