December 12, 2013

Maine man pleads guilty to illegal scallop harvesting conspiracy

D.C. Air & Seafood and Christopher Byers of Winter Harbor plead guilty to working with fishermen to conceal the harvesting of nearly 80,000 pounds of scallops.

The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. — Federal officials say a Maine seafood company and one of its owners have admitted conspiring to conceal the harvesting of nearly 80,000 pounds of scallops off the coasts of New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Seafood wholesaler D.C. Air & Seafood and 41-year-old Christopher Byers of Winter Harbor, Maine, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring with six fishing boat owners to prepare false reports. The boat owners pleaded guilty earlier.

Under a plea agreement, the company agreed to pay more than $520,000 in restitution and be placed on probation for five years. The company also agreed not to harvest scallops during that period.

Byers faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced in March.

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