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Major Mexican wildlife trafficker arrested, officials say

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 196 birds and other wildlife confiscated
  • Wildlife considered in danger of extinction
  • Raids undertaken at two Mexico City homes
  • Wildlife included rare turtles and birds

Mexico City (CNN) -- Mexican federal authorities say they have arrested a major trafficker of animals in danger of extinction and confiscated 196 birds and other wildlife.

Five Mexican federal agencies conducted simultaneous raids Monday in two Mexico City homes, said a news release by prosecutors from the federal environmental protection agency.

Officials arrested Gabriel Godoy Valdez, 38, in one of the homes, the release said. He was in possession of 118 animals at risk or danger of extinction and did not have proper documentation for the wildlife, officials said.

Among the animals confiscated were 75 galapago tamaulipeco turtles and 12 different types of birds, officials said.

Prosecutors said they found 78 wild animals at the second home. No arrests were reported.

In previous inspections and operations in states such as San Luis Potosi and Veracruz, the release said, animal merchants had told authorities that a man they only identified as Godoy was one of their major wildlife purchasers.