National News

Six charged for smuggling raw duck and goose intestines under packaged rattlesnakes: Prosecutors

todayMarch 5, 2024



(NEW YORK) — Six people were arrested Tuesday in connection with a scheme to smuggle thousands of pounds of raw goose and duck intestines from China, through Los Angeles, and ultimately to New York City for sale to restaurants and consumers.

Five of the defendants reside in Brooklyn and one in Queens, according to a criminal complaint. They are charged with importing and selling illegal merchandise from China.

According to the criminal complaint, shipments of the illegal products were falsely labeled. An August 19, 2022, a shipping container that arrived in Long Beach, California, from China falsely stated the container held “1,966 cartons of pet grooming tool pet nail clippers.”

Federal law prohibits the importation of raw goose and duck intestines from China and duck-blood products from any unapproved establishments in China. Federal prosecutors said the products seized in the investigation contained both.

In the August shipment, investigators said they observed 79 cartons containing approximately 1,800 pounds of illegal goose intestines and 960 pounds of illegal duck intestines.

In another shipment, the illegal products were concealed under packaged rattlesnakes, the complaint says.

“Each defendant knew of the illegal nature of their conduct,” federal prosecutors said. Five of the defendants had been warned previously by USDA authorities, they said. Investigators believe there are additional shipments of illegal products that have gone undiscovered.

“[S]hipment records for the companies involved in the shipments of illegal merchandise described above indicate a broader conspiracy than just the shipments that have been identified to date,” the complaint said.

The six defendants were expected to make an initial appearance in Brooklyn federal court later Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether they had lawyers.

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