NYC man admits smuggling piranhas

NYC man admits smuggling piranhas

Posted: Updated:
AP file AP file

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal authorities say a New York City tropical fish merchant has admitted smuggling over 39,000 piranhas and labeling them as common aquarium fish.

The Justice Department said Joel Rakower and his Queens company, Transship Discounts Ltd., pleaded guilty on Wednesday and agreed to pay $73,000 in fines.

Piranhas are illegal in New York City and more than two dozen states.

Prosecutors say Rakower imported the piranhas in 2011 and 2012 and resold them to fish retailers in several states. Only 850 were recovered.

His lawyer told Newsday that Rakower had been in the wholesale tropical fish supply business for 30 years. He says Rakower made an error in judgment and is now paying for it.

Sentencing was set for April 24.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:19:20 GMT
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
  • Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Community celebrates renovated Queens Library branch damaged by Sandy

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:13:20 GMT
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
    It's been nearly a year and a half since Superstorm Sandy tore through the Queens Library Arverne branch in the Rockaways. Now it is back in business.Sandy left behind 4 feet of water. A massive renovation -- gutting, cleaning, repainting, rewiring -- was needed to get everything back up to speed. The library, which reopened March 18, is a vital part of the community.
  • Christians around world mark Good Friday

    Christians around world mark Good Friday

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:34:50 GMT
    From the Holy Land to the streets of New York City, Christians have commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Good Friday prayers and processions. Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the cobblestone alleyways of the Old City on Friday along the Via Dolorosa, Latin for the "Way of Suffering." In NYC, Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio lead followers across the Brooklyn Bridge.
    From the Holy Land to the streets of New York City, Christians have commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Good Friday prayers and processions. Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the cobblestone alleyways of the Old City on Friday along the Via Dolorosa, Latin for the "Way of Suffering." In NYC, Timothy Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio lead followers across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices