Man Sentenced for Smuggling Knives Birds Use to Kill in Cockfighting

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A Louisiana man has been sentenced to two months in federal prison for smuggling 263 cockfighting gaffs into the U.S.

Joseph Marty Toralba was arrested Feb. 2 at Honolulu International Airport while returning from an international cockfighting derby in the Philippines.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra on Monday sentenced Toralba to 60 days in prison, one year of probation and fined him $1,000.

Authorities said the gaffs — sharp knives that are tied to the birds' legs for cockfighting — were hidden in cardboard boxes Toralba had checked in on the plane.

Toralba was the first person in Hawaii to be prosecuted under the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007.

The act made the transportation of fighting animals across international or state lines illegal. The act also made the transportation of any fighting instrument used by birds for cockfighting a 3-year felony.