American sentenced to one year in jail for smuggling 93 rare birds from Vietnam: report

By Staff reporters   October 16, 2017 | 11:14 pm PT
The birds were carried in 'horrific' conditions and all but eight of them died in transit.

An American man was sentenced to six months in home detention followed by a year in jail on Monday for smuggling 93 protected birds on a flight from Vietnam earlier this year. 

Kurtis Law, 50, flew to Los Angeles International Airport with the colorful songbirds in his luggage on March 24.

He was arrested in May after investigators found the birds were at risk of extinction and protected under the federal Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, said a report by the Orange County Register.

They included Bali myna, Chinese hwamei, silver-eared mesia and red-billed leiothrix.

The birds could have fetched $90,000 on the black market in Southern California, around 1,000 times more than they cost in Southeast Asia, according to court documents cited in the report.

Prosecutors said the birds were each wrapped and placed in Law’s suitcases under “horrific” conditions that allowed them almost no movement. All but eight of the 93 birds died.

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