From the U.S. Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Texas:
TYLER, TX (KYTX) — A 53-year-old Dallas man has been indicted on smuggling charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Carlos Delgado Rodriguez was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 14, 2014 and charged with smuggling dead hummingbirds from Mexico into the United States.
According to the indictment, from February 2013 through January 2014, Rodriguez is alleged to have unlawfully imported approximately 61 dead hummingbirds, of various varieties, into the United States for sale.
The five-count indictment specifically alleges that the importation of dead hummingbirds violates the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Lacey Act, the federal smuggling law, and Texas State Law.
If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.
It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.