Men sentenced to prison for smuggling tropical fish

In Los Angeles, a former resident of West Hill was sentenced to one year of federal prison for trying to export protected tropical fish without a permit into Canada.

On his testimony stand, Isaac Zimerman, age of 66, apologized to the court and begged to let him remain free. Click here for navigate to this web-site. But, U.S. District Judge Otis Wright II wasn’t too affected with his plea and granted the sentence, one year behind bars. This sentence also includes enhancement, because Zimerman fled prosecution seven years ago. He was to be taken immediately to federal custody and this decision shocked his family members.

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Zimerman’s attorney tried to object, but the judge cut him off. He was extradited last September from Mexico to face charges, charging him for illegal trafficking of protected tropical fish.

Diana M. Kwok, assistant of U.S. Attorney, stated that he built a successful business and that he was well known in those circles, his business consisted out of possession and sales of wildlife. And it was his choice to fled in Mexico.

During his testimony, Zimermant admitted that he had a large amount of South American freshwater fish, which he intended to sell and ship outside of California. He was also accused of false testimony, obstruction of justice, forged of documentation and while he was on pretrial release, he smuggled from Peru Arapaima gigas without a proper federal documentation.

Special agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a San Fernando Valley man who is a fugitive after failing to appear in federal court after being charged with multiple offenses involving the smuggling and trafficking of protected wildlife species, including piranhas. Isaac Zimerman, 61, of West Hills, failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing on July 12, at which time a federal judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Fish and Wildlife agents have since learned that Zimerman may have fled the area as early as June 21. The agents believe that Zimerman will attempt to leave the United States, if he has not done so already.

He was arrested the last year near Matepec in Mexico. He changed the appearance so he could avoid prosecution. Mexican government permitted for him to be extradited to the U.S. based on two charges.

His wife has also been sentenced in 2011 to 21 month of probation and fined with $1,500. States that these cases are common, where family takes participation in criminal activities.