Miami Family's Cuban Pigeon Egg Smuggling Ring Cracked

Daughter smuggled Cuban pigeon eggs in plastic Easter egg shells for her dad

A couple of local smugglers have egg on their face after pleading guilty Wednesday to trying to sneak unhatched Cuban pigeons into Miami.

Rufino Blanco, 47, and his daughter 21-year-old Claribel Blanco Cuellar were caught trying to sell the 72 illegal eggs in online chatrooms and through their family pet store in Miami, federal investigators said.

Apparently Cuban pigeons are quite fast and are part of an underground racing pigeon community. Who knew? Blanco almost exclusively catered to the racing pigeon crowd in his store, El Morrillero.

Cuellar was caught with the eggs in her luggage on a trip back to Miami. She hid them in plastic Easter egg shells. When authorities asked her what she was going to do with the eggs, Cuellar said they were for Santaria rituals.

Cuban pigeons aren't endangered or anything, but Cuellar and Rufino got in trouble because they do not have the proper permits to bring exotic or foreign animals into the country, the feds said.

Unfortunately for the unborn chicks, the eggs had to be destroyed.

The father-daughter team will be sentenced in March and could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

And you thought your eggs were expensive. 

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