Dallas mystic shop owner has pleaded guilty to trafficking dried
hummingbird carcasses in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,
announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy
Cynthia Macias-Martinez, 48, pleaded guilty to the sale of wildlife
taken in violation of federal law before United States Magistrate Judge
Renee H. Toliver on Tuesday.
According to court documents, Ms. Macias-Martinez, owner of a Dallas
mystic shop, admitted to selling dried hummingbird carcasses known as
“chuparosas” without a valid permit or authorization. “Chuparosas” are
believed by some to have mystical benefits and are commonly used as
amulets or charms.
The hummingbird, a migratory bird, is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Pursuant 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.
Ms. 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, Ms.
Macias-Martinez offered the dried hummingbird carcasses for sale in her
She further admitted to both possessing and selling dozens of dried
hummingbird carcasses of different species each of which are protected
under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Ms. Macias-Martinez faces up to 5 years in federal prison, a$250,000
fine, and restitution for her crimes. A sentencing date has not yet been
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
IRS-Criminal Investigations, and Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Douglas Brasher is prosecuting this case.