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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Texas Company Pleads Guilty to Violations of the Federal Lacey Act

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that GARCIA SHRIMP CO., LLC, a Texas Limited Liability Company headquartered in Brownsville, Texas, pled guilty today to a one-count Bill of Information for violating the Federal Lacey Act.

According to court documents, in early October 2012, GARCIA SHRIMP purchased 35,000 pounds of Mexican shrimp from Mexican businessmen. The shrimp was packaged in plastic crates typically used by Mexican supermarket wholesalers. After taking receipt of the shrimp, company personnel removed product of Mexico labels from the packages containing the shrimp and attached new tags indicating that the shrimp was caught in U.S. waters. Company personnel also conducted an offloading ruse, whereby the shrimp was trucked down to GARCIA SHRIMP’s dock facility and then re-weighed and wrapped to make it appear as if the shrimp was caught by a local U.S. flagged fishing vessel. Then company personnel created false documents and bills of lading that falsely read, “Product of U.S.A., Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp.” On or about October 12, 2012, GARCIA SHRIMP sold the shrimp to a New Orleans based seafood distributor.

GARCIA SHRIMP faces a maximum fine of $500,000 and an organizational probationary term of five years.  U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown set sentencing for September 24, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S Department of Commerce NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, in investigating this matter.   Eastern District of Louisiana Assistant U. S. Attorney Spiro G. Latsis and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Christopher L. Hale with the Environmental Crimes Section in Washington D.C. are in charge of the prosecution.

Garcia Shrimp.pdf (2.37 MB)

Updated September 2, 2015