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Man convicted of falsely labeling snakes sentenced

A man who was convicted of mislabeling a box of snakes bound to Shanghai, China, from Amherst was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court, officials said.

Chaoyi Le, 28, of Shanghai, who was convicted of  violating the Lacey Act against false labeling, was sentenced to time served and fined $5,000 by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Le was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $3,518.75 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, on April 22, 2014, Le sent seven ball pythons from Amherst to Shanghai through U.S. mail, using the false name “Ben Fan.” Le submitted a form that falsely declared the package contained belts, candy and other items with an $80 value, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

At the time, the ball pythons were worth about $3,300, officials said. The package was recovered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and inspected on May 3, 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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