Man sentenced to year in prison for illegally trafficking lake trout

Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 15:54:26-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A Charlevoix company has been fined over a million dollars and the owner sentenced to a year in federal prison for trafficking in illegally transported and sold lake trout.

John Cross II and John Cross Fisheries were sentenced Wednesday in Kalamazoo. They had previously pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Lacey Act.  The $1 million in fines will go to the National Fish Hatcheries, which stock Lake Michigan with trout.

The U.S. Attorney says that between September 2011 and October 2013, Cross Fisheries and Cross made about 42 purchases of lake trout, totaling nearly 50,000 pounds of fish from one fisherman, while reporting it in Wholesale Fish Dealer’s Purchase Records as coming from another source.

The sentencing was one of the final cases in an undercover operation that investigated the illegal harvest and sale of trout and walleye from the Great Lakes.