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AND FINALLY . . .

Jailbirds of a different feather

June 25, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A sharp increase in drugs and cellphones in a Brazilian prison mystified officials -- until guards spotted some distressed pigeons struggling to stay airborne.

Inmates at the prison in Marilia had been training carrier pigeons to smuggle in goods using cellphone-sized pouches on their backs, an ingenious way of bypassing the high-tech security that visitors face.

Officials said the pigeons, bred and trained in the prison, lived on the jail's roof, where prisoners would receive their contraband before smuggling the birds out again through friends and family.

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