LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Santa Ana man has been arrested on federal misdemeanor charges that he sold feathers from bald eagles and other protected birds.
Tyler Vela, 27, of Santa Ana was arrested Tuesday. Vela was charged in Los Angeles with violating federal bird protection acts by illegally trafficking the feathers of bald eagles, red-tail hawks and turkey vultures.
Federal prosecutors say he sold items made with the feathers to undercover agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who made contact through Facebook.
The items were known as “bustles” and they’re worn as decorations during Native American dance exhibitions.
“The use of the internet and social media platforms to sell protected bird species – or any other threatened or endangered wildlife – creates a market, increases demand and ultimately leads to the decimation of these vulnerable populations,” the U.S. district attorney’s office said in a news release.
If he’s convicted, Vela could face up to a year in federal prison.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)