Man pleads guilty in Missouri paddlefish poaching case

Paddlefish eggs sold for caviar

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Colorado man has pleaded guilty to illegally trafficking caviar from paddlefish that were caught in western Missouri.

The U.S. attorney's office says 49-year-old Felix Baravik, of Aurora, entered the guilty plea Tuesday.

Baravik was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2013.

A pregnant paddlefish can have about 20 pounds of eggs and those eggs can be sold for as much as $35 an ounce.

Paddlefish can be legally fished in Missouri, but the daily catch limit is two. Missouri law prohibits the transportation of paddlefish eggs that have been removed from a paddlefish carcass and also outlaws their sale, purchase, or the offer of sale or purchase of paddlefish eggs.

Under the terms of Baravik's plea agreement, the government agreed to recommend a sentence of three years of probation and a $5,000 fine.

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