Bay St. Louis dealer gets prison time for fishy seafood sales

A federal judge has sentenced a Bay St. Louis seafood dealer to 25 months in federal prison for conspiring to sell fish taken in violation of state law across state lines and possession of an unregistered, sawed-off shotgun.

Lonnie M. Ray of Coward Seafood Inc. pleaded guilty in April to selling fish taken in violation of state law to Louisiana buyers.

Ray admitted that he violated the law by failing to report seafood purchases, as required, to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. He also admitted buying fish from recreational fishermen in violation of state law.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden ordered Ray to serve three years under supervised release once he completes his prison sentence and fined him $3,000. He also had to forfeit the shotgun, court records show.

Charges were dismissed against Shelly H. Ray, who also was named in the indictment.