- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Four men have pleaded not guilty to federal charges arising from what prosecutors say was a scheme to illegally export of birds from Louisiana to Taiwan.

One of the defendants, Paul Tallman, is from Destrehan. Three others are from California: Alex Madriaga of Buena Park; Rene Rizal of La Mirada; and Wayne Andrews of Royal Oaks. Records show they entered not-guilty pleas Monday in New Orleans, where an Aug. 27 trial date was set.

A fifth man, William McGinness, of Buena Park, is expected to enter a plea July 2.

An indictment made public June 1 says they conspired to smuggle birds protected under an international treaty governing trade in endangered species. A U.S. Justice Department news release said 90 birds including parrots, macaws and cockatoos were exported.

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