Thirteen commercial fishermen have been charged in connection with the illegal harvest, sale and false reporting of about 90,000 pounds of Atlantic striped bass from federal waters off the coast of North Carolina from 2009 to 2010.

The retail value of the illegally harvested striped bass is about $1.1 million, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The investigation began after the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the fishing vessel Lady Samaira in February 2010, according to the news release. There had been a complaint that multiple vessels were fishing striped bass illegally. The Lacey Act, a federal law, prohibits individuals from transporting, selling or buying fish and wildlife harvested illegally.

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