United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2008 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881
SAN ANTONIO MAN GUILTY OF TRANSPORTING
HARMFUL FISH IN TEXAS
(TYLER, TX) United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 55-year-old San Antonio man has pleaded guilty to transporting harmful fish without a license in the Eastern District of Texas.
WILLIAM LAMAR STONER was indicted in February 2008 and charged with importation of harmful fish without a permit. He pleaded guilty to the charges late yesterday in federal court.
According to information presented in court, on November 21, 2007, Stoner transported approximately 50 unsterilized Asian Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) from the state of Arkansas into Texas without securing the required permits. U.S. Fish and Wildlife had to destroy and recover the grass carp from five different water hazards at the Quail Creek Country Club in San Marcos, Texas due to the risk that a flood event on the San Marcos River would allow the fish to escape the golf course and threaten native vegetation, including endangered Texas wild rice. Stoner transported the fish across state lines in furtherance of his commercial business of retrieving golf balls from golf course water hazards.
Stoner faces up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $20,000.00 at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Texas Parks & Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.
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