15 PEOPLE CONVICTED FOR commercial sale of sportfish AS A RESULT OF UNDERCOVER WILDLIFE INVESTIGATION|
Fremont restaurant also fined as a result of �Operation RIP-RAP�
FINDLAY, OH -- An undercover investigation, �Operation RIP-RAP,� conducted by officers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has resulted in 16 convictions for the commercial sale of walleye and white bass.
Fourteen Ohio residents, one Kentucky resident and an Ohio restaurant owner were convicted in Sandusky County of a total of 33 violations involving the commercial sale of sport-caught fish. The Fremont Municipal Court and the Sandusky County Common Pleas Court levied a total of $11,800 in fines, $4,470.00 in restitution, 35 years of fishing license suspensions and 72 days in jail on those convicted.
�Municipal Court Judge Michael Burkett and Prosecutor Bob Hart should be commended for setting an example that the illegal use of Ohio�s natural resources will not be tolerated,� said Terry Sunderhaus, law enforcement supervisor for the Division of Wildlife in northwest Ohio.
Information received through the Division of Wildlife�s Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) Program initiated the investigation, which involved the illegal sale of fish caught by anglers on a portion of the Sandusky River that passes through Fremont. The case earned its name for the large rocks, called rip-rap, that line the banks of the river to prevent erosion.
Established in 1982, the TIP program allows Ohioans to call toll-free from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations.Violations of Ohio wildlife laws can be reported anonymously at 1-800-POACHER (800-762-2437).