L’ANSE — A two-year federal undercover operation into illegal fishing on Lake Superior has resulted in a series of recent raids, involving three northern Michigan fish markets and their fishing operations, the ABC 10/CW 5 News has learned.
Plus, the special agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Division (LED) also raided an international fish distributing company in Northeast Wisconsin.
A federal search warrant and criminal complaints recently filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service LED show that the Fish and Wildlife Service set up a bogus fishing company on tribal land in Baraga County that was used to buy fish from those under investigation.
The targets included members of numerous tribes in Wisconsin and Michigan, including the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Red Cliff Band of Chippewa Indians and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The investigation also includes non-natives.
That sting involved creating the bogus Upper Peninsula North Fish Company on US-41 in L’Anse — in a building with a history of being a fish-buying business — and located on the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community reservation. The investigation involves millions of pounds of illegally caught fish on the Great Lakes including Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The fish include sturgeon, lake trout and walleye.
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