New York Resident Pleads Guilty To Fish & Wildlife Violations
CONCORD, N.H. – Ronald Martel of Whitehall, New York, pled guilty in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and to three Lacey Act violations by taking quantities of fish from the Connecticut River that exceeded the daily bag limits and then selling the fish to a business located in Whitehall, New York, announced United States Attorney John P. Kacavas.
Under an agreement between the State of New Hampshire and the State of Vermont, daily bag limits for four species of fish – white perch, yellow perch, sunfish, and black crappie- are set at 25 fish per species and an overall aggregate limit of 50 fish per species. Over a four month period from December 2009, through March 2010, Martel and others routinely exceeded regulatory limits, at one point taking more than 700 fish from the Connecticut River. Surveillance established that the fish were sold at a sporting goods store in Whitehall, New York.
Martel is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14, 2011, in the United States District Court and faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years on each charge.
The investigation was conducted by United States Fish & Wildlife Service, the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Feith.