4 Dominicans Are Accused Of Smuggling Wildlife And Throwing 113 Birds Overboard To Their Deaths

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Four men from the Dominican Republic were indicted in Puerto Rico on charges of smuggling wildlife in a case involving more than 100 dead birds, officials said Monday.

The men were detained after the U.S. Coast Guard spotted them earlier this month aboard a flagless boat north of Puerto Rico and saw them throw overboard wooden cages holding tropical birds as authorities approached, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Some 113 birds were retrieved from the ocean, officials said, adding that the men had traveled to the U.S. territory to smuggle back exotic birds to the neighboring Dominican Republic.

The suspects appeared in court Monday. A judge ordered three of them held in prison and a fourth under house arrest pending an upcoming trial.