New Jersey man convicted of illegally trafficking paddlefish

4 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 19 2015 Aug 19, 2015 Wednesday, August 19, 2015 4:40:00 PM CDT August 19, 2015 in News
By: Brady Finn, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - A New Jersey man was convicted Wednesday in federal court after he was caught illegally buying and selling paddlefish in Missouri. 

Petr Babenko, 45, of New Jersey was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy that led to illegally possessing and transporting paddlefish and paddlefish eggs in violation of The Lacey Act. The Lacey Act is a federal law preventing the sale or transportation of fish that have not been regulated by the state. 

Babenko and other poachers have been weeded out by an undercover operation conducted in an area known as the Roadhouse in Warsaw, Missouri. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with the Missouri Department of Conservation to conduct a covert investigation called "Operation Roadhouse." Officers operated a paddlefish snagging business and sold the paddlefish to interested buyers during the 2011 and 2012 paddlefish seasons. 

The caviar being produced from the involved paddlefish eggs had an estimated retail value between $30,000 and $50,000.

Babenko faces a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $500,000.

The Missouri Department of Conservation introduced a tagging program this year allowing them to better track paddlefish populations. The paddlefish being monitored are at the Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake and Table Rock Lake. 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A body found along a Callaway county roadway Thursday is under investigation as a homicide. The... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 7:36:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY- Businesses outside the city limits of Columbia are now having to decide what to do about the mask... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 6:33:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot about how we live, and unemployment benefits weren't left out. Unemployment... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 5:45:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – As cases are beginning to spike, some counties are struggling to keep up with the demand for... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 5:38:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - The city has acquired what was formerly the Moberly Junior High School, and now is working to figure... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 2:42:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Parks & Recreation will host a public input meeting tonight to discuss plans for a new trail... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 2:31:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - People have been busy buying masks to prepare for the mask ordinance taking effect Friday, and businesses are... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 1:51:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
MCDONALD COUNTY - An Amber Alert has been issued in McDonald County. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said 8-year-old... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 1:14:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The final amount of insurance claims reported after the May 2019 tornadoes has amounted to nearly $190... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 1:06:00 PM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
BRANSON - When Kanakuk Kamps, a prominent network of Christian camps in Missouri, opened their five overnight camps on May... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 11:24:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 10:56:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday kept a hold on President Donald Trump’s financial records that Congress has... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 9:45:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police are investigating after three people were shot at a popular downtown St. Louis outdoor attraction.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 9:20:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Police in Kansas City are investigating the death of a woman they say was standing... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 9:19:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- MU Health Care is set to open another drive through testing site located at Mizzou North. Staff at... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 8:47:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Just before the lockdown began, London-based writer Valentina Valentini made the choice of a lifetime: She agreed to... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 8:18:25 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Thursday is the last full day Columbia residents will be able to go out in public without a... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 7:00:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The short-form video app TikTok has quickly become a key part of popular culture in the US, serving... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 6:17:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
3am 72°
4am 71°
5am 70°
6am 69°