NSFW Photo: Man Caught Smuggling 159 Pounds of Iguana Meat, Covered in Fish, Across Mexican Border | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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NSFW Photo: Man Caught Smuggling 159 Pounds of Iguana Meat, Covered in Fish, Across Mexican Border

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Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM

click to enlarge The one that got away - WWW.JAGENDORF.COM
  • www.jagendorf.com
  • The one that got away
And here we thought Tupac's alleged shooter was the man of the hour (closely trailed by a way-too-stoked John Edwards). Nope! The anonymous U.S. citizen trying to cross over from Mexico with 167 pounds of Iguana meat in tow on June 7 wins top blogroll honors, hands down. Or at least the genius border agent who took a hi-def, borderline NSFW photo of the stuff (after the jump), which we'd easily suggest as the next big ad campaign for PETA, if they can find it in their hearts to care about Iguanas half as much as them boa-ready Tibetan lambs.

Not for the squeamish:

click to enlarge LOS ANGELES TIMES
  • Los Angeles Times
According to the Times, the iguana smuggler attempted to normalize his three cooler-loads of creepy lizard flesh by covering them with a layer of fish, which he then declared to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Otay Mesa crossing. But there was apparently still something fishy (!) about the cargo, because officers made the quick decision to "pull him aside for further inspection."

Needless to say, our man of the hour is now in jail, his precious iguanas in the custody of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents.

Hm. Think they're gonna do like a dirty cop and hawk the stuff on the black market? Or just eat it themselves? It's got a pretty dank reputation, detailed last month by the Dallas Observer:

"Did you know that iguana really does taste just like chicken?" Jonathan Kauffman, now the critic for our sister paper SF Weekly, wrote in a 2006 restaurant review. "No joke: I kept trying to come up with descriptive words for the chunks of pale-pink meat at the bottom of my bowl. And though the long-stewed garrobo was slightly richer than thigh meat and slightly tougher, too, I couldn't identify a strong scent or taste."

European explorers who were served iguanas by their coerced New World hosts tended to form similar conclusions: A 16th-century historian who chronicled Christopher Columbus' journey to Haiti described iguana as "extremely tasty." Peter Martyr likened iguana to the pheasants and peacocks then prized by Europe's nobility.

And what kind of reporters would we be if we didn't take this opportunity to commemorate the journey of the iguana smuggler who tried stuffing the meat in his prosthetic leg? Yes. Really. And the truly amazing part is that border agents were still able to sniff the stuff out.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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