Saturday, November 23, 2002

Researcher denies fish poaching



The Associated Press

OWENSBORO, Ky. - A prominent researcher who is accused of illegally trafficking in paddlefish - the source of much domestic caviar - pleaded innocent of the charge and was scheduled for trial in January.

Steven Mims was released on his own recognizance after a hearing Thursday in Owensboro. Trial was set for Jan. 30 in Owensboro.

Mr. Mims is charged with violating the Lacey Act for shipping paddlefish eggs that were caught in violation of Kentucky law and transporting them in interstate commerce. According to the indictment, Mr.Mims shipped the caviar to New York.

Mr. Mims, who has a doctoral degree in aquaculture, has written extensively on paddlefish. He is a member of the faculty at Kentucky State University's aquaculture program, which includes more than a decade of research into trying to raise paddlefish commercially.

According to the indictment, between Sept. 1, 2001 and May 2002, paddlefish were being scooped up with gill nets. There is no federal law against that, only a state regulation that prohibits fishing in the area roughly from the lock openings upstream to the dam.

But it is a federal violation when fish that are improperly caught under state rules are then shipped across state lines. Under the Lacey Act, such a shipment can bring 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Mr. Mims' attorney, Kevin McNally, said the charge stems from a financial disagreement between Mr. Mims and the man who was helping him catch the paddlefish.




TOP STORIES
Ex-coroner accused of drug scam
Want to blow up Cinergy Field? Buy a ticket for the chance
Speeches, letters honor Rev. Booth
Sycamore teachers talking strike

IN THE TRISTATE
New displays, kids' activities featured
$100K raised for criminal reviews
Heart device cuts deaths, hospitalization
Obituary: Louis J. Gerwe, ran Bromwell's
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
RADEL: Meeting a need
MCNUTT: Christmas walks
GUTIERREZ: Home-sales slump
FAITH MATTERS: Love served for Thanksgiving

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Portman backs schools in legal fight
Hamilton group wants baseball team by '05
Firm to design Milford park
Clermont kids learn to help those in need

OHIO
Political parties unite to oppose `eccentric' board member
Ohio ethnic groups hail NATO growth
Malpractice bill contains lawmakers' message for court
Twister wrecks tight city budgets
USDA suspends regional director
Veterans wait for state's second home

KENTUCKY
N.Ky. market idea gets one OK
Researcher denies fish poaching
Union reps accuse Patton of `bad faith'
Craven did not waver in denials
New hall is on the way
Former Salvation Army worker charged in Christmas toy theft
State may release felons to save money
`Hillbillies' reality show under fire