A person was caught at JFK Airport on Monday allegedly making an attempt to smuggle in 35 stay finches from Guyana — stuffed inside plastic hair curlers and hid inside his garments, authorities stated.
Kevin Andre McKenzie is simply the newest alleged would-be songbird smuggler busted utilizing the hair-accessory technique to usher in the coveted creatures, that are utilized in high-stakes singing contests fashionable in Brooklyn and Queens
After McKenzie deplaned from a JetBlue flight originating in Georgetown, Guyana, CBP brokers discovered the small seed-eating birds contained in the curlers, which have been coated with a mesh material, after which hid inside his jacket and pants, in accordance with the legal grievance filed within the Jap District of New York.
McKenzie allegedly advised them he had been supplied $3,000 to visitors the finches into the US.
He was charged with the unlawful importation of wildlife and was launched on a $25,000 bond, authorities stated. If convicted, McKenzie faces as much as 20 years in jail.
Though there are American finches, the Guyanese selection is extra desired for the singing competitions, which may contain steep wagers, the feds stated.
“In such contests, usually performed in public areas like parks, two finches sing and a choose selects the hen decided to have one of the best voice,” the grievance states. “A finch who wins these competitions turns into invaluable and may promote for greater than $10,000.”
Earlier this month, a 26-year-old from Guyana was additionally busted at JFK with 29 stay birds stuffed inside pink and orange plastic rollers.
One other birdbrain tried to smuggle 70 finches hidden in orange hair curlers inside a black duffle bag in 2018.
A yr later, a Connecticut man arrived at JFK from the Caribbean nation, with 32 stay songbirds that he stated he deliberate to promote for $3,000 every.
This story first appeared within the New York Publish.