We're not sure how far these guys would have gotten in Arizona. They stand out as colorful and fierce. And they're highly illegal in the states. But they wouldn't last long in the desert, especially without water. Authorities say one group of people was successful in smuggling them into the United States — into California, at least.
In some Asian cultures Dragonfish are prized, considered lucky, and are often quite valuable. But they're endangered, and thus a no-no for importation. Seven people were indicted by a Los Angeles grand jury Tuesday on suspicion of illegally smuggling the endangered fish, according to Associated Press.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent went undercover and helped to nab exporter Andree Gunawan, who was charged with two felony counts of smuggling endangered wildlife and four counts of offering to sell an endangered species, the AP reports.
The fish are worth from $1,000 for young ones to $20,000 for colorful adults, which can measure two feet long.