7 Men Facing 57 Charges in Fish Trafficking Case

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (AP) - Federal authorities have charged 7 men with 57 counts of illegally catching, transporting and selling fish across state lines.

The indictment, returned last week in U.S. District Court in Albany, Ga., said several Florida fishermen and seafood dealers and 2 Georgia brothers conspired to transport a variety of fish illegally across state lines from Florida to Georgia, mislabeled fish and falsified documents, investigators said.

The men are accused of illegally catching and selling red drum, red snapper, red grouper, gag grouper and of selling Vietnamese catfish as grouper. Officials say the total commercial value of the fish involved exceeded $200,000.

Authorities said it was among the largest undercover operations in the Panhandle in the past two decades.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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