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Man arrested at JFK accused of smuggling dozens of live finches inside hair curlers

Associated Press

Police arrested a Connecticut man over the weekend who they said attempted to smuggle 34 live finches through New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in hair curlers, according to The Associated Press.

Authorities arrested Francis Gurahoo Sunday after his flight arrived from Georgetown, Guyana. Prosecutors said he intended to sell the birds, which he hid in his carry-on luggage, for singing competitions, according to the AP.

{mosads}On Monday, Gurahoo was arraigned on a charge of unlawful wildlife smuggling. The finches are popularly used in competitions in Brooklyn and Queens, where participants bet on the bird with the best voice.

Last December, customs officials at JFK found 70 live finches smuggled in the same way.

Prosecutors said Gurahoo intended to sell the birds for about $3,000 each, netting more than $100,000, according to the AP. Wildlife smuggling can pose environmental and biological threats through the potential spread of disease.

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