1 man sentenced, 1 pleads guilty for baby eel trafficking

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — One Maine man is heading to jail and another has pleaded guilty for their role in a national baby eel trafficking ring.

The Portland Press Herald reports 35-year-old Yarann Im was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday for illegally trafficking 480 pounds (217.73 kilograms) of the eels, known as elvers. Im worked as a seafood dealer in Portland.

Maine fisherman Albert Cray pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally harvesting the elvers in New Jersey and selling them to a Maryland dealer, who transported them abroad.

The two men were charged as a result of an interagency sting known as Operation Broken Glass.

The baby eels are valuable because they can be used as food in Asian markets. Fishermen sometimes sell the elvers for more than $2,000 per pound.

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