TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey man who illegally imported scorpions, giant millipedes and other invertebrates, some of which escaped inside a postal delivery truck, has been spared a prison term.
Wlodzimie Lapkiewicz instead was ordered Tuesday to serve six months of home confinement and four years of probation. The 30-year-old Metuchen man had pleaded guilty to smuggling wildlife.
In July 2015, a group of live scorpions and millipedes escaped from an international express mail parcel originating in Tanzania and addressed to Lapkiewicz at his home.
A postal inspector gave him a warning. But prosecutors say he continued to order live insects and invertebrates without proper permits, through July 2018.
Prosecutors say Lapkiewicz participated and assisted others in intentionally mislabeling parcels of live wildlife to avoid detection.