PADUCAH, Ky. (WEHT) — A report shows 44-year-old Daniel Allen of Brookport, Illinois was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison followed by two years of post-release supervision for violating the Lacey Act.
Allen pleaded guilty and admitted to illegally catching shovelnose sturgeon along the Kentucky/Illinois border and selling the fish roe to a caviar distributor in Tennessee. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, Allen did it from Nov. 6, 2018, and April 20, 2019.
Allen caught sturgeon out of season using illegally sized mesh nets along the Ohio River, says the attorney’s office. They also mention he caught sturgeon near the Smithland Lock and Dam in an area closed to commercial fishing.
The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to transport and sell fish that were taken in violation of any law or regulation of any state. Kentucky and Illinois both regulate fishing for sturgeon and its eggs, which are marketed as caviar. A violation of the Lacey Act constitutes a felony if the fish had a market value in excess of $350.
Officials say at sentencing, Allen agreed to pay $10,000 in restitution for the illegally taken sturgeon and eggs.