This finch looks similar to the Guyanese finches found in a passenger's carry-on luggage at JFK on Sunday. The finches are prized for their singing voices and are used for gambling in Brooklyn and Queens.
Photo: Wikicommons
Photo: Wikicommons

33 live birds smuggled into U.S. in curlers; passenger arrested at JFK

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Francis Guarahoo, 39, was arrested after the finches from Guyana were found in his carry-on luggage, WABC reported.

Guarahoo told federal prosecutors he planned to sell the birds for $3,000 each, hoping for a profit of $100,000, CNN reported.

The Guyanese finches are used in singing contests in Brooklyn and Queens and prosecutors said a winning bird can sell for as much as $5,000. The New York Times, citing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, reported that a male finch with a winning track record and good pedigree could sell for $10,000.

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In 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents caught smugglers trying to bring more than 200 finches into the country.