- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Federal authorities have charged a Northern California man with illegally smuggling two endangered Asian Arowana fish, which are symbols of prosperity and luck in Asian culture.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco unsealed an indictment Monday charging Ryan Lopez Bernardez with violating the Endangered Species Act. The 39-year-old San Jose man faces a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.

Bernardez was arrested last Friday and remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail. Bernardez is not the first person facing trouble because of illegal dealings with the fish.

In May, a San Diego man was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine after he posted an ad on Craigslist and tried to sell the endangered fish to an undercover agent.


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