- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. attorney’s office says a Peruvian man has pleaded guilty to illegal trade in a protected species after being caught with endangered orchid plants in his luggage at Los Angeles International Airport.

Forty-six-year-old Victor Manuel Arias Cucho of Lima, Peru, entered the plea Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court and was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine.

Prosecutors say that on Sept. 24 Cucho had a layover in Los Angeles while traveling from Australia to Peru after attending an orchid trade show in Sydney.

A search of his luggage turned up more than 200 orchids protected under an international convention on endangered species. Cucho did not have documentation required to bring the protected orchids into the United States or Peru.

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