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Bowling Green, KY – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Charles Hopkins with conspiracy to sell shovelnose sturgeon and their roe that were taken in violation of Kentucky law.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Assistant Director Edward Grace of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement.
According to the indictment, Charles Hopkins, 51, of Smithland, Kentucky was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. The indictment alleges that in spring 2016, 2017, and 2018, Charles Hopkins, working with others, transported and sold shovelnose sturgeon and their roe in interstate commerce, knowing that the fish were taken in violation of and in an unlawful manner under the laws and regulations of Kentucky.
The defendant will make an initial court appearance on a later date before a U. S. Magistrate Judge of the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, Hopkins faces up to 5 years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Madison Sewell.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.