Captain admits throwing illegally caught fish overboard in NC waters

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

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 51-year-old William Juel, of Little River, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to disposing of illegally caught fish in North Carolina.

Authorities say the Coast Guard approached his boat, the Island Runner, 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 will be sentenced in October and faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, and three years of supervised release.

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

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