Five charged in bird export scheme
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - One man from New Orleans and four from California face charges in what federal prosecutors say was the illegal export of birds from New Orleans to Taiwan.
An indictment made public Friday says they conspired to smuggle birds protected under an international treaty governing trade in endangered species. The scheme included falsified statements submitted to federal wildlife officials.
A U.S. Justice Department news release said 90 birds including parrots, macaws and cockatoos were exported.
Defendants include the president of a freight company, Paul Tallman of Destrehan, and four California men: William McGinness and Alex Madriaga of Buena Park; Rene Rizal of La Mirada; and Wayne Andrews of Royal Oaks. They have not entered pleas. They are set for arraignment June 25.
Defense attorneys did not immediately respond to comment requests.