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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Homestead Resident Sentenced for Illegally Trafficking in Marine Life

A Homestead resident was sentenced to three years’ probation for illegally trafficking in marine life.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Tracy Dunn, Assistant Director Southeast Region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Law Enforcement, and Robert C. Hutchinson, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, announced that Dan Q. Lin, 43, of Homestead, Florida, was sentenced today in Key West to three years’ probation for conspiring to violate the federal Lacey Act by transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring, and purchasing  a Florida spiny lobster, in violation of Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(2)(A) and 3373(d)(1).

In a previous related matter, Eric Burman, 42, of Boca Raton was convicted of a similar charge and was ordered to serve a three year term of probation and to pay a fine of $250,000 in Case No. 14-10008-CR-KING.  According to statements in Court, Burman was President and the sole Director of a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Pompano Beach, FL. Burman, through the business entity, was engaged in the wholesale commercial seafood industry, including the export of live Florida spiny lobster to the seafood market in China. At the same time, Lin was the Director and owner of a Florida corporation also located in the Pompano Beach area.

According to court documents, both defendants admitted, that during August and September 2010, they purchased spiny lobster from harvesters in Monroe County, Florida without creating and providing to the harvesters and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, trip tickets reflecting the transaction.  Thereafter, Lin caused the lobster to be transported to Burman’s corporate business premises in Pompano Beach for packing and shipping.  Burman agreed to allow Lin to package, mark, and ship the spiny lobster under his corporate entity’s name and through his shipping agent. The lobster was transported from Pompano Beach to a commercial airfreight carrier at Miami International Airport and exported to Hong Kong, China. The charge against Lin identified a specific shipping transaction in August 2010 involving approximately 446 kilograms of illegally trafficked spiny lobster.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and ICE-HSI, who participated in the development of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Watts-FitzGerald and Antonia Barnes.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic(s): 
Environment
Updated June 22, 2016