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Two men indicted for alleged bird smuggling

May 5, 2009 |  3:35 pm

Bird smugglers - birds on legs

A man who allegedly flew from Vietnam to Los Angeles with 14 live birds hidden in his pants was one of two men indicted on smuggling-related charges today by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.

Duc Le, 34, and Sony Dong, 46, are charged in an eight-count indictment with conspiring to smuggle dozens of birds into the United States, including red-whiskered bulbuls, magpie robins and shama thrushes.

Both men were arrested last month after investigators determined that Dong had 14 birds fastened to pieces of cloth around his calves, said Asst. U.S. Atty. Mark Williams. A subsequent search revealed dozens more illicit birds, officials said.

-- Scott Glover

Photo: Officials search the legs of a suspect in the bird-smuggling case. Credit: U.S. attorney's office.