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Louisiana firm pleads guilty to oyster sales violation


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana seafood wholesaler and retailer has pleaded guilty to violating federal law by selling oysters out-of-state without proper reports to Louisiana.

Indian Ridge Seafood Company LLC of Terrebonne Parish pleaded guilty Thursday to interstate commerce that violated the Lacey act, U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser said in a news release.

The company’s sworn statement says that, from Jan. 1, 2017 through March 19, 2019, it sold more than 14,300 sacks of oysters worth about $656,865 to out-of-state buyers without filing required reports about their purchase to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Indian Ridge will pay a $10,000 fine to the department and agrees to quarterly inspections by the department for a year after sentencing, according to its plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan has scheduled sentencing Feb. 18 and could fine Indian Ridge up to $200,000.

In addition to the state department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations worked on the case, the news release said.

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