Alleged fish smuggler sought by authorities

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Officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service want the public's help in tracking down a Californian man charged with smuggling and trafficking aquarium fishes.

According to Courthouse News Service, a California news service for lawyers and the media, Isaac Zimmerman, 61, failed to appear at court last month, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

Zimmerman is said to have illegally imported live piranhas, freshwater stingrays and arapaima (a CITES Appendex I listed species) in California, where the sale of the species is illegal.

The Courthouse News Service says that Zimmerman owns two aquarium stores, River Wonders in Hawthorne and Da Tien Pets in Gardena, which it says he used to allegedly import, sell and export the fishes.

According to the report, Zimmerman has previously been charged with 13 counts of conspiracy, illegal fish trafficking, smuggling fish in and out of the United States, of falsifying documents, making false statements and obstructing investigations.

Zimmerman's wife, Leonore Catalina Zimmerman, has already pleaded guilty to a previous charge of illegal fish trafficking and awaits sentencing.

For more details see the Courthouse News Service.