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Man Sentenced in Texas Fish Scheme

Man accused of harvesting gar from the Trinity River

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012  |  Updated 9:44 AM CDT
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Man Sentenced in Texas Fish Scheme

Flickr/Joel Abroad

Alligator gar in an aquarium.

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A Florida man has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to smuggle alligator gar from Texas for sale in Japan.

A jury found 63-year-old Loren Willis of West Palm Beach, Fla., guilty last October after he and two other men were accused of harvesting alligator gar from the Trinity River and taking the fish to Florida so they could sell it in Japan.

The U.S. attorney's office says Willis was sentenced Tuesday.

According to information presented in court, Willis didn't have a required Texas fishing license, and a co-defendant altered documents to show the fish were captive bred, which wouldn't require an inspection before export.

The other two defendants pleaded guilty in the case.

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