DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas mystic shop owner has pleaded guilty to trafficking dried hummingbird carcasses in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced Friday.
Cynthia Macias-Martinez, 48, pleaded guilty to the sale of wildlife taken in violation of federal law.
The dried hummingbird carcasses, better known by the their Spanish name, chuparosas, are thought by some to wield a wide variety of mystical powers.
Court documents filed in the case show Macias-Martinez admitted to selling the carcasses without a permit – a violation of federal wildlife laws.
According to federal regulations, it is illegal to take, possess, import, export, transport, or sell a hummingbird, or its parts, nests, or eggs, except under the terms of a valid permit.
Macias-Martinez admitted the dried hummingbird carcasses she acquired were illegally imported and smuggled into the United States from Mexico.
Without a valid permit or authorization, Macias-Martinez offered the dried hummingbird carcasses for sale in her store.
She also admitted to possessing and selling dozens of dried hummingbird carcasses of different species, each of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
A sentencing date has not been set, but the shop owner could face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.