MIAMI –

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Miami found three birds hidden inside a passenger’s laptop bag, an agency spokesman said Friday.

Two live pigeons and a finch were found July 2 while agriculture specialists were inspecting the passenger’s laptop after the traveler arrived from Cuba at Miami International Airport, customs spokesman Keith Smith said.

The pigeons were wrapped in brown and blue tape, while the finch was inside a small plastic bottle, Smith said.

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The birds were seized under the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in wildlife that has been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it unlawful to hunt, take, capture, kill or sell birds listed as migratory.

“CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the United States,” MIA Port Director Christopher Maston said. “They safeguard American agriculture and our natural resources by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases at our nation’s borders.”

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