PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to trading in endangered and invasive fish in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Anthony Nguyen, aka JoJo Nguyen and Jackie Lee, 49, from Pittsburgh plead guilty to the trade in endangered Asian arowana and invasive snakehead fish.
Nguyen owned and operated a Pittsburgh business, Ichiban Tropical Fish, which specialized in the sale of rare and exotic tropical freshwater fish species.
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During his plea hearing, Nguyen admitted to breaking the Lacey Act in 2016 by selling illegally imported Asian arowana, which are native to Southeast Asia and are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Arowana, also known as “dragon fish” or “Asian bone tongue fish”, is considered the most expensive freshwater fish in the world.
Nguyen also admitted selling invasive and harmful snakehead fish in 2019. Snakeheads are native to Asia but were introduced into freshwater habitats in the United States
Nyugen is due to be convicted on November 1 and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine for each charge.