In 2014, the most egregious cereal box-based smuggling case came to light: turtles. The Detroit News ran the story that a local man had been arrested for shipping thousands of turtles across the world, packaged in cereal boxes and snow boots. The kind of cereal? Corn Flakes again. The haul consisted of more than 700 hatching diamondback turtles as well as other species. This, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward, announced, was part of an international turtles smuggling ring in which they sold endangered turtles for $1,800 each.
Since then, Kai Xu, the ring leader, pled guilty to six counts of smuggling turtles, according to the Eastern District of Michigan in 2016. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison. The turtles, as The Global News was careful to discover, were handed over to the care of the Detroit Zoo. Again, considering all the questionable uses that cereal boxes have been put to, it would be more unusual to find someone traveling with a genuine box of cereal than one deployed as a tool for smuggling.