You may have seen this on KTLA last night. Two Viet men from Garden Grove were arrested when one of them was caught smuggling song birds through LA Airport with many wrapped around his legs, reports Courthouse News Service here. (Update: KTLA has posted its story here.)
Sonny Dong, 46, and Duc Le, 34, face federal charges of conspiring to smuggle birds and making false statements. The pair were arrested in April after Dong returned from a trip to Vietnam.
“Bird feathers and droppings (were) on his socks” and “birds’ tail feathers (were) visible under his pants,” said federal prosecutors.
Apparently, Sonny Dong had birds tucked in his pants and under his shirt, and somehow he managed to sit on the plane with those birds on him, for the 18+ hour trip, and still arrived ok.
Allegedly, this was not the first time Dong and Le smuggled birds. As reported on KTLA, on a previous trip, federal authorities had detected a dead bird in his luggage, and decided to stalk out his next trip.
On KTLA last night, a prosecutor explained that the birds are bought for anywhere between U.S.$10 and $30 in Vietnam, and they can be sold to collectors in the U.S. for $350 or more.
Say what you will, the best part of this story is still the picture above.