Jeffrey S. Adams, 41, of Hudgins, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court to 180 days home confinement with electronic monitoring, followed by three years of probation, for violating the Lacey Act by trafficking in illegally harvested striped bass.
U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said Adams’s corporation, Adams Fishing Adventures, Inc., was sentenced to three years’ probation. One of the conditions of the probation is the requirement to acquire and maintain vessel monitoring units, used by regulatory organizations to monitor fishing vessels, on all vessels owned or operated by them.
Adams and Adams Fishing Adventures pleaded guilty to violation of the Lacey Act in the U.S. District Court in Norfolk on Jan. 19. The Lacey Act, among other things, makes it unlawful for any person to transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of the United States.
According to a plea agreement, Adams and Adams Fishing Adventures, Inc., admitted that they sold a chartered striped bass fishing trip on Jan. 19, 2010 for $800. As part of that trip, Adams knowingly took his charter clients into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to harvest striped bass, even though Adams knew it was a violation of federal law to harvest striped bass inside the EEZ, the agreement stated.
Adams’s clients illegally harvested 10 striped bass within the EEZ and Adams transported the illegally harvested striped bass back to Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach, case documents said. According to documents filed in connection with the sentencing, Adams and Adams Fishing Adventures, Inc., routinely harvested striped bass illegally from within the EEZ from 2007 to 2013.