WORCESTER - A surefire way to get yourself involved in federal grand juries and indictments is to smuggle wildlife into the United States. Smuggling, in general, tends to be frowned upon, but smuggling wildlife is a whole different animal of a crime. To further understand the story of how one man in Worcester ended up involved in such a reaction, we have to go back to 2017.


Two years ago in November, a package was sent from the U.S. Customs office to a team of wildlife inspectors. The package was addressed to a man named Robert Boss in Worcester, Massachusetts and was coming from Hong Kong, according to Masslive. Allegedly, it contained porcelain, but X-ray scans seemed to detect reptiles and when the wildlife officials received it, twenty-four newts were found inside. Twenty-two of them had died because air holes are apparently not enough to survive a cross-world flight.


This wasn’t the only curious package, however. Another one that was said to contain wooden figures actually was home to turtles that had been placed into socks. Other tubs contained lizards and newts. This pattern continued all the way up until October when Nathan Boss, who is twenty-seven years old and comes from Worcester, was confirmed on footage as being the person who received these packages.


The charges levied against Boss included the smuggling of live animals into the U.S., without declaring some of them. Additionally, some of the species he was trying to smuggle are deliberately banned from U.S. imports. On top of it all, negligence on the efforts of both parties resulted in many of these animals dying in cruel fashion, as shared by Boston.com.


As such, Boss was officially indicted for these actions last week by a federal grand jury. In addition to being charged with two counts of smuggling wildlife into the U.S., and two counts of smuggling it out of the country, Boss was also charged with lying to a federal agent. It seems like he might get a stiff sentence out of this, which might be necessary to discourage acts like this which seem almost inevitably to kill the animals involved. There’s a reason why these species are barred, after all.


Image Via Wikimedia Commons