LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Southern Californian faces up to 20 years in prison for smuggling 27 Asian songbirds into the United States in a suitcase.
Can Thanh Nguyen, 63, of Garden Grove was nailed at Los Angeles International Airport on April 20 last year, with the birds "hidden in cages wrapped in foil or newspaper underneath a layer of foil and clothing to avoid detection," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Eleven birds were Chinese Hwamei, Garrula canorus, which are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Nguyen will be sentenced on July 27. Birds and other animals are the second- or third-most valuable items smuggled across borders each year, after drugs. Animals and computers both have been said to be the second most-valuable items smuggled after drugs.
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