Seafood processor indicted for buying illegally harvested halibut

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Kenai seafood processor was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy and four counts of buying illegally harvested halibut.

The indictment was handed down against Kenai Custom Seafoods, owner James Hill Sr. and his son, James Hill Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis said the Hills knowingly bought halibut from a commercial fisherman who did not have an individual fishing quota required to catch halibut commercially.

The alleged violations occurred between March and July of 1997. The indictment alleges that Kenai Custom Seafoods paid $42,000 for the halibut.

Feldis said the company knew the fish was caught illegally, because the fisherman did not provide the required fish tickets and catch reports at the time of the sale.

The Hills could face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine for each offense.

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Alaska State Troopers conducted the investigation that led to the indictment.

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