Posted: Aug 31, 2010 6:26 PM by David Ortiviz
Updated: Aug 31, 2010 6:41 PM
On Monday, police busted two teenagers selling about 150 baby turtles on a street corner in Pueblo. The men set up a stand on the corner of Northern and Pueblo Blvd. Officials say the men were selling a species known as red ear sliders. Ofc. Matthew Ballard says the turtles were about the size of a quarter.
Federal laws prohibits turtles less than four inches in diameter from being sold, because they could spread salmonella. Pueblo Police contacted the USDA's office in Denver. Ofc. Ballard says the USDA didn't prosecute the case, because they didn't have the manpower.
"If I call the USDA enough and say I need an agent to come out here and work this case, they may actually do it, and the penalty is $1,000 per turtle and one year in prison per turtle," said Ofc. Ballard.
Ofc. Ballard says the turtles didn't have any water, which is against city law. The teenagers, who are from El Paso, Texas were ticketed for animal cruelty.