Man smuggled birds in his pants

September 29, 2009 2:53:37 PM PDT
A man has pleaded guilty to smuggling songbirds into Los Angeles from Vietnam by hiding them under his pants. Prosecutors say 46-year-old Sony Dong entered his plea Tuesday to one count of illegally importing wildlife.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Dong had originally pleaded not guilty in May. He was arrested in March at Los Angeles International Airport.

Authorities found 14 birds he wrapped in cloth and strapped to his legs and ankles when he arrived on a flight from Vietnam.

Another suspect, 34-year-old Duc Le, has pleaded not guilty to smuggling charges. He is expected to stand trial Oct. 27.

Le was arrested after investigators found 51 songbirds at his California home.

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