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Captain admits throwing illegally caught fish overboard

July 24, 2019

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A fishing captain has pleaded guilty to throwing away fish to prevent the Coast Guard from seizing it.

Federal prosecutors say in a Tuesday news release that 51-year-old William Juel of South Carolina pleaded guilty to disposing of illegally caught fish.

Authorities say the Coast Guard approached his boat and boarded it in November 2017. The release says Coast Guard investigators videotaped Juel throwing fish overboard to prevent them from seizing the catch. Court documents say he was in the jurisdiction of North Carolina-based federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say the illegal catch included a type of grouper closed to fishing because quotas had been met that year.

Juel faces up to five years in prison at sentencing in October.

A defense attorney declined comment Tuesday and said Juel was unavailable.

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