Fla man pleads guilty to smuggling birds from Cuba

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Associated Press

Posted on December 9, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 9 at 7:03 PM

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami man faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly trying to smuggle birds from Cuba into the United States in his pants.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Alberto Diaz Gonzalez pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to import undeclared wildlife from the Caribbean island. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Diaz's federal public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Diaz returned to Miami from Havana on Oct. 20. Court documents show he told U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Miami that he was not carrying any wildlife.

But authorities say when officers searched Diaz, they found 16 Cuban bullfinches hidden in his pants. They say Diaz admitted the birds were from Cuba and that he planned to sell them.

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