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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

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    Release No. 07-144

    November 13, 2007


    A Cypress man who conspired with others to illegally transport and sell endangered fish – Asian Arowanas – in violation of the Endangered Species Act was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison.

    Bruce Penny, 37, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who noted that Penny’s conduct spanned at least two years. Penny pleaded guilty earlier this year to a conspiracy charge in which he acknowledged selling several Asian Arowanas to a man in New York.

    The Asian Arowana – commonly called “dragon fish” or “lucky fish” – is native to Southeast Asia and can grow to up to three feet in length. Under the Endangered Species Act and international treaties, permits are required to export endangered species from their country of origin, as well as import them into the United States. The permitting system is designed to protect species by preventing the creation of black markets for them in the United States and elsewhere. In the United States, Asian Arowanas can sell on the black market for thousands of dollars.

    Two other defendants arrested pursuant to an investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, were sentenced earlier this year. Anthony Robles, 30, of Carson, was sentenced by Judge Anderson to three years of probation. Robles, who was ordered to serve six months of home detention as part of his probation, sold some Asian Arowanas to Penny, and he assisted Penny in shipping some of the fish to the New York man. Peter Wu, 43, of Rowland Heights, was sentenced to three years of probation by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer.

    "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, is committed to the investigation and apprehension of people engaged in the illegal trafficking of endangered species in an effort to protect our world's fragile ecosystem,” said Erin Dean, the Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, in Los Angeles.


    Release No. 07-144
    Return to the 2007 Press Release Index