MINNEAPOLIS -- Federal prosecutors have filed indictments against 10 people accused of illegally poaching and marketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in walleye and other protected fish on the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian reservations.
The four indictments charge each of the men with one count of transportation, sale and purchase of fish taken in violation of the Lacey Act, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.
The Lacey Act, originally signed in 1900, is a conservation law enforcing criminal and civil penalties for the illegal trade of animals and plants.
Prosecutors filed indictments against the following:
-- Larry W. Bellefy, 53, of Bagley
-- Thomas P. Sumner, 54, of Red Lake
-- Brian W. Holthusen, 47, of Red Lake
-- Larry Good, 58, of Red Lake
-- Michael D. Brown, 54, no known address
-- Michael J. Nei, 48, of Bemidji
-- Jerry A. Reyes, 51, of Cass Lake
-- Marc L. Lyons, 61, of Bena
-- Frederick W. Tibbetts, 61, of Bena
-- Alan D. Hemme, 55, of Bena
If convicted, each defendant faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The indictments also seek the forfeiture of the defendants' boats and other equipment used to poach, sell or buy the fish, according to The Associated Press.
The news release said authorities began investigating in July 2009.