- Associated Press - Friday, June 14, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A California veterinarian has pleaded guilty for his part in what federal prosecutors say was a plan to illegally export exotic birds from New Orleans to Taiwan.

Federal court documents show that Alex Madriaga of Buena Park pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single count. He was one of four indicted last year and the second to plead guilty. Prosecutors said the plan involved shipping birds protected under an international treaty governing trade in endangered species.

Madriaga admitted signing a certificate falsely stating that the birds, which were in California, had been quarantined in Louisiana for 21 days. The certificate was to be used to obtain federal approval to export the birds.

He will be sentenced Aug. 28. Maximum penalties include a $100,000 fine and a possible year in prison.

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