Endangered Snakes, Turtles Seized in Raids

From Times Wire Services

State and federal wildlife officials seized hundreds of rare and endangered turtles and snakes in raids aimed at breaking up one of the nation’s largest suspected networks of illegal reptile and amphibian sales.

The morning raids in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan followed a two-year investigation by the states’ departments of natural resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, officials said.

The suspected ring was under observation for more than a decade, and the break came when investigators managed to infiltrate the group by posing as dealers, trappers and customers, officials said.