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Texas Company Pleads Guilty To Relabeling Mexican Shrimp

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NEW ORLEANS — Federal prosecutors say a Texas shrimping company has pleaded guilty to relabeling 35,000 pounds of hard-to-sell Mexican shrimp as wild-caught American crustaceans.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office said in a news release that Garcia Shrimp Co., of Brownsville, Texas, admitted Thursday to a violation of the century-old federal Lacey Act.

Polite said the company created false bills of lading and sold the shrimp to a New Orleans-based distributor.

The maximum penalty for violating the Lacey Act is a $500,000 fine and an organizational probationary term of five years. U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is to sentence the company Sept. 24.