An undercover operation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has netted several people in Des Moines for illegally selling fresh fish. D-N-R law enforcement district supervisor Lon Lindenberg says the case involved three markets in Des Moines.He says there were several fisherman who’d go out and catch the fish with traditional hooks and lines. The fish included crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish and bluegill, which were taken to the the markets, which would then sell them fish. Lindenberg says the markets would pay one-dollar per pound for the whole fish, and then resell them with the Catfish selling for two-dollars-and-29-cents per pound and the other fish for a dollar-49-cents per pound. Lindenberg says this is the largest case of its kind ever in the state.He says it’s a fairly well known law and they don’t usually have problems with people selling fish or game. Commercial fishing is allowed only in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers by licensed commercial fishers and in 20 inland lakes through a contract with the D-N-R. Commercial fishing is restricted to rough fish species – carp, buffalo and freshwater drum. Lindenberg says they got a tip that something was “fishy” and that led to a three-month investigation with seven undercover officers.Those charged include: David and Cindy Luu, owners of Tings Asian Market, who have pleaded guilty to 40 counts of commercialization of fish. Their fines and restitution totaled nearly 34-thousand dollars and they received a 20 year suspended jail sentence and 12 months of informal probation; Sith Macvilay, owner of Jung’s Oriental Foods, was charged with eight counts of commercialization of fish. Chung Cavan, owner of Des Moines Asian Foods, was charged with four counts of commercialization of fish. The D-N-R also filed a total of 85 charges against seven other individuals for commercialization of fish and the unlawful transportation of fish for sale. Those charged include Sommay Phonaphachang, Boonhiang Kongpaichith, Mark Davis, Tuan Dao, Doi Baccam, Mon Lo and Hao Baccam.
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