Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Smugglers' Secrets
Bird Brained
Bird Brained
May 5, 2009: Sony Dong went from free as a bird to jailbird when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Los Angeles International Airport busted him trying to smuggle 14 live Asian songbirds, including three red-whiskered bulbuls, into the country. The chirping contraband was attached to Dong's legs via specially made cloth pouches, which, due to a design flaw, allowed tail feathers and bird droppings to be visibly deposited on Dong's socks. This alerted CBP agents to his feathered freight, which he had brought back with him from Vietnam with the alleged intention of selling the exotic creatures in the U.S. for $300-$400 each. A second man was also arrested in connection with the bird-brained operation.

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