Smuggler Busted With Birds Bound to Legs

Droppings tip off feds to Vietnamese bird-smuggling racket
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 7:36 AM CDT
Suspect was discovered with songbirds strapped to his legs at Los Angeles International Airport.    (AP Photo/Department of Justice)

(Newser) – Two men have been charged with conspiracy to smuggle songbirds from Vietnam after one of them was found with the cheepers strapped to his legs, TMZ reports. Inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport stopped a man with his shoes covered in bird droppings and discovered he had 14 live birds strapped to his legs. The men could be caged for up to 10 years if convicted.

"He had fashioned these special cloth devices to hold the birds," said a US attorney. "They were secured by cloth wrappings and attached to his calves with buttons." The man had already been flagged by customs after he abandoned a suitcase containing 18 of the birds, which can fetch up to $400 each on the black market.