Illinois man sentenced in Kentucky to a year in illegal caviar sale

Published 5:21 am Thursday, April 14, 2022

An Illinois man has been sentenced to a year in prison after admitting he illegally caught sturgeon and sold the fish roe to a caviar distributor in Tennessee.

Daniel Allen, 44, of Brookport, Illinois, pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, which makes it illegal to transport and sell fish that were taken in violation of state law or regulation.

The shovelnose sturgeon were caught out of season in 2018 and 2019 using illegally sized mesh nets along the Ohio River on the Kentucky-Illinois border, according to U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett’s office in the Western District of Kentucky. He also caught sturgeon near the Smithland Lock and Dam in an area closed to commercial fishing, the prosecutor’s office said.

Kentucky and Illinois both regulate fishing for sturgeon and its eggs, which are marketed as caviar, Bennett’s office said.
Allen was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by two years of supervision. Allen also agreed to pay $10,000 in restitution.