World

Woman who traded kids for pet bird sentenced

A Louisiana woman who traded two children in her care for an exotic pet bird and $175 US has been sentenced to 30 months' hard labour after pleading guilty to two counts of sale of a minor.

30 months' hard labour for selling 2 children in her care for $175 US, cockatoo

A 52-year-old Louisiana woman who traded two children in her care for an exotic pet bird and $175 US was sentenced Monday to 30 months' hard labour after pleading guilty to two counts of sale of a minor.

Donna Greenwell of Pitkin, La., was arrested in February 2009 along with Paul James Romero and Brandy Romero for selling a four-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy in return for cash and a cockatoo.

The couple pleaded guilty to the same charges as Greenwell in October and received five-year prison sentences that were suspended after they agreed to testify against Greenwell.

The Romeros had advertised that they were selling their pet cockatoo for $1,500, and Greenwell reportedly responded and said she wanted to buy the bird.

Greenwell then told the Romeros she was taking care of three children whose parents were going through a separation and proposed including two of the children in the deal.

An anonymous tipster contacted authorities after the children began living with the Romeros.

The children were well taken care of when they were with the Romeros, who badly wanted children, said Capt. Keith Dupre of the Evangeline Parrish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana at the time of the arrest.

Greenwell will begin serving her sentence on March 25.

With files from The Associated Press