Kevin Andre McKenzie, a 36-year-old Guyanese resident, flew to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Monday, 불만에 따르면, where Customs and Border Protection officers pulled him aside for an examination and found the birds, 당국은 말했다. He was charged with unlawfully importing the finches.
Photographs show the tiny finches were stuffed inside hair rollers sealed with perforated netting. Authorities said they were attached to the inside of McKenzie’s jacket as well as the top of his shoes.
The traveler was released on a $ 25,000 노예, the US Attorney’s Office said.
James Darrow, McKenzie’s attorney, 댓글을 거부.
The investigation found that these types of birds are often entered into “노래 경연” in the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods of New York, according to Kathryn McCabe, a special agent for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
“In such contests, often conducted in public areas like parks, two finches sing and a judge selects the bird determined to have the best voice,” McCabe stated in the complaint. “Many who attend the singing contests wager on the birds. A finch who wins these competitions becomes valuable and can sell for more than $ 10,000. Although certain species of finch are available in the United States, species from Guyana are believed to sing better and are therefore more valuable.”
McKenzie told officers that he had been offered $ 3,000 to smuggle the birds, the complaint says. He allegedly was paid $ 500 before his flight and was to receive the remaining $ 2,500 after he got through Customs. It is not immediately clear whether anyone else has been arrested.
Besides a valid import permit, birds are required to quarantine for 30 days to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, according to government regulations listed in the complaint.