US authorities have arrested a German man for smuggling hundreds of tarantulas and other spiders into the country, after mounting a sting operation to catch him, officials said on Friday.
Sven Koppler, 37, was arrested on Thursday after arriving in Los Angeles to meet an associate, folllowing a nine-month investigation dubbed "Operation Spiderman". prosecutors said.
The probe began in March when customs officers found 300 live tarantulas during a routine search of a package. US Fish and Wildlife agents then intercepted a second package containing nearly 250 tarantulas wrapped in colored plastic straws.