A man was busted with 35 live finches taped to his body after getting off a five-hour flight.

Kevin McKenzie is accused of trying to smuggle the tiny song birds into the US from Guyana for a bird singing contest in Queens. Authorities they have seen a rise in smugglers trying to sneak birds into the country.

US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York

McKenzie was busted with the birds crammed inside small hair curlers taped to his body at John F Kennedy International Airport on Monday.

He told officers that he was going to be paid $3,000 to get the birds to their location. He was flying from Georgetown, Guyana and had the birds taped to his ankles and the inside of his coat.

US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York

McKenzie has been charged with illegal importation of wildlife and was released on a $25,000 bond. If convicted of the crimes, McKenzie faces up to 20 years in prison.

According to federal authorities, the variety of bird being smuggled are more desired by bird people than the American variety of the same bird.

US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York

The singing competitions, according to the criminal complaint, the singing competitions can turn a massive profit on the birds if they win.

"A finch who wins these competitions becomes valuable and can sell for more than $10,000," The document said. "In such contests, often conducted in public areas like parks, two finches sing and a judge selects the bird determined to have the best voice."

Read more at Metro UK

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