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Calif. Man Convicted Of Possessing Rare Iguanas

LOS ANGELES - A Long Beach man was convicted of possessing three endangered iguanas that prosecutors claimed he smuggled into the United States from Fiji in his prosthetic leg.

The government accused Jereme James, 34, of abducting the hatchling Fiji banded iguanas from an ecological preserve during his 2002 trip to Fiji.

A jury acquitted James on one count of smuggling, but convicted him on related charges of possessing illegally smuggled iguanas, a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said.

The rare iguanas are listed as an endangered species and are found in Fiji, Tonga and other Pacific islands.

James is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14 by U.S. District Judge Manuel Real.

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