MIAMI (AP) - A Florida company and two men associated with it have been convicted and sentenced for illegally trafficking in juvenile nurse sharks and angelfish.
A federal judge this week placed Aquatic Trading Co. on probation, fined the firm $3,000 and ordered it to surrender all state and federal permits and licenses. In addition, Walter and Lisa Bloecker of ATC previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally market wildlife. Each is serving 90 days of home confinement.
Prosecutors say the fish were illegally harvested in the Florida Keys, with paperwork created to make it appear they were from Nicaragua. The nurse sharks and angelfish were marketed and shipped to a retailer in Michigan.
The harvesting of the sharks was done without a valid federal license and the angelfish were oversized.