NYC man admits smuggling piranhas - FOX 35 News Orlando

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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>>

  • Silent Disco

    Headphone dance party comes to Queens

    Headphone dance party comes to Queens

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:44 PM EDT2014-09-13 02:44:37 GMT
    No. No, it's not even like that. We're all dancing together to the same song. We're listening through these headphones. It's a dance party. With my headphones on, this D.J. sounds like he might assemble the greatest late-night playlist of all-time. With my headphones off, this party looks really weird.
    No. No, it's not even like that. We're all dancing together to the same song. We're listening through these headphones. It's a dance party. With my headphones on, this D.J. sounds like he might assemble the greatest late-night playlist of all-time. With my headphones off, this party looks really weird.
  • Housing activists protest Airbnb

    Housing activists protest Airbnb

    Friday, September 12 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-09-12 23:41:17 GMT
    You've probably seen Airbnb commercials extolling the benefits of homeowners renting out their houses or apartments to out-of-town guests for a fee. Sharing is caring feel-good commercials.But housing activists say Airbnb is reducing available housing in New York City's increasingly expensive and shrinking housing market. They argue Airbnb is pushing thousands of apartments toward use as illegal hotels instead of affordable housing.
    You've probably seen Airbnb commercials extolling the benefits of homeowners renting out their houses or apartments to out-of-town guests for a fee. Sharing is caring feel-good commercials.But housing activists say Airbnb is reducing available housing in New York City's increasingly expensive and shrinking housing market. They argue Airbnb is pushing thousands of apartments toward use as illegal hotels instead of affordable housing.
  • Clothing for a cause

    Clothing for a cause

    Friday, September 12 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-09-12 23:00:07 GMT
    Like millions of Americans, John Williams has been out of work for months. He has finally landed an interview for a customer service position. To make sure he gets the job, he is making sure to look his best, thanks to Suited for Work.Suited for Work is a program under FEGS, a nonprofit that's been around for 80 years. Since its inception, Suited for Work has outfitted more than 8,000 men with brand-new suits donated by manufacturers.
    Like millions of Americans, John Williams has been out of work for months. He has finally landed an interview for a customer service position. To make sure he gets the job, he is making sure to look his best, thanks to Suited for Work.Suited for Work is a program under FEGS, a nonprofit that's been around for 80 years. Since its inception, Suited for Work has outfitted more than 8,000 men with brand-new suits donated by manufacturers.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices