U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that Indian Ridge Seafood Company, LLC, located in Terrebonne Parish pled guilty today to a one count Bill of Information for the illegal sale of oysters in violation of the Lacey Act.
According to court records, from Jan. 1, 2017 through March 19, 2019, Indian Ridge Seafood did knowingly sell and transport oysters in interstate commerce with a market value in excess of $350, when, in the exercise of due care, Indian Ridge Seafood should have known that said oysters were acquired and possessed in violation of and in a manner unlawful under the laws of the State of Louisiana, specifically, Louisiana Revised Statutes, R.S. 56:306.4; R.S. 56:306.5; R.S. 56:306.6. Indian Ridge Seafoood failed to report to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries approximately 14,346 sacks of Louisiana oysters, valued at approximately $656,865.
Indian Ridge Seafood faces a maximum fine of not more than $200,000 and a special assessment of $125. Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2021 before U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan.
“NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is dedicated to enforcing federal marine resource laws, including the Lacey Act, to ensure the sustainability of our natural resources,” Tracy A. Dunn, Assistant Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement said. “This investigation is an example of how we collaboratively work with other federal and state partners, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries investigated this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Julia K. Evans is in charge of the prosecution.