25 January – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander A…

25 January – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Hal Robbins, Special Agent in Charge, NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, announced today that a federal Grand Jury sitting in Miami yesterday has charged defendants Antonio Martinez-Malo, 51, Liliana Martinez-Malo, 46, both of Miami, and Anchor Seafood, Inc., currently located at 10265 SW 70th Street, Miami, Florida, in a two-count felony Indictment.

Anchor Seafood, Inc. is a business operated by Antonio Martinez-Malo, the President and sole shareholder, and his wife, Liliana Martinez-Malo. The corporation and the two individual defendants have been charged with making forty (40) illegal shipments of undersized spiny lobster tails from January, 2000 through January, 2001. The Indictment alleges that during this time, the defendants imported from Jamaica, sold, and transported over 16,000 pounds of 2, 3, and 4 ounce spiny lobster tails valued at $229,000, which is a violation of both Jamaican and Florida law, both of which have strict size and weight limits for spiny lobster.

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, the Martinez-Malo’s violated the false labeling, records, and identification provisions of the Lacey Act, a fish and wildlife protection law, by concealing the actual size of the lobster tails through the coding system they used on the exterior of boxes and on their invoices. The Indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to violate the Lacey Act and the anti-smuggling laws, and with one count of smuggling. If convicted on these charges, the individual defendants each face five (5) years of imprisonment and possible fines of $250,000 on each of the charged counts. The corporation faces possible fines of $500,000 per count if convicted. Additionally, if found guilty, the defendants could be required to forfeit the value of the illegal shipments.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Patrick of the Economic and Environmental Crimes Section.

A copy of all press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .