Expert Sentenced For Bird Smuggling

An expert on rare and exotic birds who amassed an international reputation as a protector of wildlife was sentenced Monday to nearly seven years in prison and fined $100,000 for smuggling hundreds of protected parrots into the United States.

U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo rejected suggestions by the attorney for Tony Silva that the defendant’s actions were motivated by concern over the birds’ welfare, given the dangers of poachers and traders.

Instead, Bucklo said, Silva acted out of greed and contributed to the potential extinction of many bird species.

The judge said Silva, 36, was guilty of “great cruelty,” adding, “There can be no excuse for your conduct.”

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