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CONTACT:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement: 413-253-8274
August 18, 2010

Charges Filed in "Operation Panfish Plunder"

CONCORD, N.H. -- On August 17, 2010, Richard Webster of Rutland, Vermont; Ronald Martel of Whitehall, New York; and Garth Martel of Whitehall, New York, were each arraigned in United States District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, on federal charges involving felony violations of the US Lacey Act Wildlife Trafficking provisions and of Conspiracy to Violate the US Lacey Act.  

The charges allege that on various occasions during the past ice-fishing season, the three defendants developed a conspiracy and engaged in the illegal commercialization and gross over-limit of recreationally targeted freshwater fish from both New Hampshire and Vermont waters, and then subsequently transported and sold the illegal fish in a commercial venture in the State of New York.  

The joint investigation is a collaborative effort of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the United States U.S. Attorney's Office District of New Hampshire.

For more information, contact the United States Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at (413) 253-8274.

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