Following a raid, the U.S. Department of Justice said six people from South Florida have been charged with collectively trafficking more than 400 migratory birds.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida said the six people charged worked independently and separately from each other.
The "six charged defendants used sophisticated methods to traffic protected wildlife, specifically migratory birds," the agency said in a statement.
Those charged allegedly used bird traps augmented by electronic birdcall broadcast systems; baited bird traps; adhesives that glue migratory birds to tree limbs; and other methods.
"In some instances, the wildlife trafficking in these cases involved severe animal cruelty and resulted in injury to the birds. Some of the trafficked birds showed signs of having sustained injuries while attempting to flee captivity," the agency added. "Some of the birds, specifically some of the hawks, were actually dead at the time of sale and other birds died shortly after purchase."
Authorities said the home of Hovary Muniz was raided in Miami. He was charged with knowingly selling and offering migratory birds for sale.
The five other defendants live in Homestead, Miami and Hialeah.