Xia Vue, who has repeatedly run afoul of law officers for running a poultry slaughterhouse in his home, was sentenced today to two years of probation.
U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill imposed that term and also ordered him to stop buying animal carcasses in bulk or bunches of live chickens, saying he can buy only a few birds at a time.
Vue, 84, of Jefferson Hills, pleaded guilty in October to transporting and selling uninspected poultry.
He bought animals at area farms and an auction in Eight Four, Pa., then slaughtered them at his houses in Jefferson Hills and the West End and sold the meat to ethnic food stores across the region.
Among the terms of his probation, he must submit to periodic inspections to make sure he isn't still slaughtering animals en masse and he's not allowed to attend the Eighty Four auction anymore.
The federal investigation started in 2011 when Pittsburgh police showed up at his house on McKnight Street looking for someone else. In the basement, officers found live chickens and a chopping block and hatchet, with the floor covered in animal feces and blood.
A second search turned up animal parts, including a goat's head, in freezers in the basement.
He was found guilty in state court for killing and dressing poultry and fined $300.
But things got more serious in January 2013 when the USDA showed up at his Jefferson Hills house and seized 52 chickens, seven pigeons, some ducks and a peacock.
A federal grand jury indicted him in January 2015.
Federal prosecutors said Vue needs to finally be stopped from doing what he has done for decades.
"The defendant has been a thorn in the side of local law enforcement and animal rights activists for years," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Goodman in pre-sentence filings.
Over many years, she said, he has "obstinately refused to change his behavior, even in the face of multiple citations and warnings from law enforcement."
Vue has maintained that slaughtering and selling poultry is common in his native Laos, but his lawyer, Martin Dietz, said he's done selling meat.