A man from Louisiana has been charged with violating a new federal animal cruelty law by smuggling cockfighting weapons into the United States.
Joseph Marty Toralba was arrested at the Honolulu airport on Feb. 2 as he was returning from an international cockfighting derby in the Philippines. Authorities said customs officers found 263 gaffs - sharp knives that are tied to the birds' legs - hidden with portable gas stoves in cardboard boxes Toralba had checked in on the plane.
Toralba, a 39-year-old landscaper who has a 150-bird farm in Colfax, La., was indicted Thursday. His public defender, Shanlyn Park, didn't return a phone call seeking comment.
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