Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Is One For The Birds - Really

Bird Smugglers Apprehended, Indicted

Men charged for illegally importing magpies, robins, bul-buls

MAY 5--Two California men were indicted on federal charges that they illegally smuggled Asian songbirds into the country, most recently last month when one of the defendants, returning from a trip to Vietnam, was found with 14 live birds strapped to his legs. (See photo) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at Los Angeles International Airport found the birds in Sony Dong's pants. While inspecting Dong agents "found bird feathers and droppings on his socks, as well as birds' tail feathers visible under his pants." A fuller search revealed 14 live birds attached to two flat pieces of cloth that were wrapped around his calves. The birds included three red-whiskered bul-buls (which is listed as an injurious species under federal law), four magpie robins and six shama thrush." The birds each appear to have been placed in sleeves that were hooked on to the cloth around Dong's legs. A second man, Duc Le, 34, was later arrested in connection with the bird smuggling. Dong told investigators he purchased birds for $50 each and re-sold them for $300-$400 apiece.

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