updated 11/23/2009 11:35:45 AM ET 2009-11-23T16:35:45

Federal officials say they arrested a man who strapped 15 live lizards to his chest to get through customs at Los Angeles International Airport.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that 40-year-old Michael Plank of California was returning from Australia when U.S. Customs agents found two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks — another type of lizard — fastened to his body Tuesday.

Plank has been released on $10,000 bond and will be arraigned in federal court on Dec. 21.

Authorities say the lizards' value totals more than $8,500. All Australian reptiles are strictly regulated and Plank did not have a permit for them.

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