Chinese Woman Stuffs Endangered Birds in Socks, Tapes Them to Body, Tries to Smuggle Them Through LAX

What we wouldn't give to know what was going through the mind of Xia Jian Pan last Wednesday morning, as she strapped two bulging, wriggling, pecking footsocks to her frame and wandered toward the China Southern Airlines checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

TSA agents at LAX tell the Daily Breeze the gruesome details of their discovery:

A woman was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle two endangered birds that were wrapped in socks and taped to her body as she tried to board a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to China, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday.

TSA officers found one of the birds taped to the woman's chest, while another was taped to her leg as she walked through a security checkpoint inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Nico Melendez, a TSA spokesman.

For the love of god, woman. Have you no shame?

And really, of all the exotic animals on which you could have tested your (very clearly fledgling) smuggler's skills -- bright yellow birds with insane talons and beaks like a drag queen's fingernails? Why not cuddle with some nice fuzzy tarantula friends?

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So yeah: Good thing they caught her before boarding. We can only imagine what kind of terrorist threat these poor tortured featherbags would have posed once they'd finally clawed their way out of her straightjacket sock coffins.

But thankfully, that scenario can remain an intangible nightmare: One TSA rep tells the Breeze that "U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers arrested the woman on suspicion of smuggling and exporting an endangered species out of the United States."

Related incident, and possible "pro" case for those damned porn scanners: The Breeze says a reptile smuggler was arrested at Miami International Airport yesterday after one such TSA machine detected snakes and turtles beneath his clothes.

Not that a pat-down would have necessarily yielded different results, but does this not seem like a good time to have taken advantage of "opt out"?

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]


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