Vero Beach Resident Sentenced For Importing Illegal Catch From The Bahamas

U.S Department of Justice Press Release

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Otha Easley, Acting Special Agent in Charge, NOAA Fisheries, Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Division, and Major Camille Soverel, Regional Commander, South A Region, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), announce that Toby Lamm, 46, of Vero Beach, was sentenced in Fort Pierce, Florida today for importing illegal catch from the Bahamas.

U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced Lamm to two years’ probation and a $2,500.00 fine. Lamm previously pled guilty to a one-count information, charging him with importing and attempting to import queen conch (Strombus gigus), spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), stone crab (Menippe mercenaria) claws and demersal (fin fish) namely: snapper (Lutjanus) and grouper (Serranidae), in violation of the possession limits for each of the species as set forth in the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, specifically, the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction & Conservation) Regulations, Part X, Sections 47(1)(a), (b) and 48(1)(f) and the laws and regulations of the State of Florida, specifically 68B-16.003(1), 68B-24.003(4), and 68B-13.005(2) contrary to the federal Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3371(a)(2)(A) and 3373(d)(1)(A).

According to the allegations in the information and statements made in court, on or about June 23, 2013, in St. Lucie County, Lamm attempted to import from the Bahamas approximately 338 queen conch, 11 spiny lobster tails, 31 stone crab claws, and 140 pounds of snapper and grouper fillets.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the NOAA, Office of Law Enforcement, FWC, and Customs and Border Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman O. Hemming, III and Antonia Barnes.