Published: Dec 23, 2010 5:02 PM EST
Updated: Dec 23, 2010 2:04 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) - Two people have pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to illegally smuggling eggs from Cuba for racing and homing pigeon enthusiasts.

The guilty pleas were entered Wednesday by 47-year-old Rufino Blanco and his daughter, 21-year-old Claribel Blanco Cuellar. Both face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines at a March 3 sentencing.

Court documents show that Miami International Airport customs agents found 72 eggs in June in the younger Blanco's luggage. They were hidden inside plastic Easter eggs. She initially claimed they were for use in Santeria religious ceremonies.

Investigators later learned the eggs were to be hatched and the birds sold at Rufino Blanco's pet store, devoted to racing and homing pigeons.

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