SAN DIEGO – A man who smuggled a Bengal tiger cub in California from Mexico has pleaded guilty to federal charges.
The eighteen-year-old Luis Valencia of Perris entered the plea on Tuesday in San Diego.
The 6-week-old cub was found on the passenger side floor in Valencia, in the car in August in San Diego border checkpoint.
Tigers are endangered and it is illegal to import them without a permit.
Valencia told authorities he obtained the animal as a pet, but later acknowledged he spent in the U.S. for commercial purposes.
He now faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Another suspect is awaiting trial.
The tiger cub was named Moka, and now lives in the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.