World

Smuggler who tied birds to legs awaits sentence

Sentencing for a man caught at Los Angeles International Airport with 14 live birds strapped to his legs has been delayed until June 21.

Illegal importation of wildlife from Asia

Sony Dong was arrested in May 2009 with songbirds strapped to his legs at Los Angeles International Airport. ((U.S. Department of Justice/Associated Press))

Sentencing for a man caught at Los Angeles International Airport with 14 live birds strapped to his legs and ankles was delayed Monday.

Sony Dong, 46, of Garden Grove, Calif., could face up to 20 years behind bars for illegally importing wildlife. He was to have been sentenced Monday in Los Angeles, but his case was rescheduled to June 21.

Arrested in May 2009 when he arrived in L.A. on a flight from Vietnam, Dong pleaded guilty to the smuggling charge.

The birds, which included magpie robins and red-whiskered bulbuls, could have been sold for up to $400 US each, authorities said.

Dong's arrest led to the discovery of 51 more songbirds at the home of another man in Garden Grove. That man pleaded guilty to conspiracy and could get a five-year prison term.

With files from The Associated Press