A Queens man could face several years in prison for unlicensed fish storage, after he was convicted this week of illegally operating a small-scale seafood trading company and selling undersized fish.
According to the New York Post, Oi Ming Chen is the owner of Ace Group International Seafood Corporation in Flushing. He bought and stored seafood including blackfish, toadfish, shrimp, and other marine life. He was reportedly just storing some of the creatures in concrete tubs full of water, and in 2011 his facilities were raided by police, who arrested him for housing and storing undersized blackfish and toadfish.
The blackfish were smaller than 14 inches, which is the minimum allowed size for that species. Chen was convicted on Thursday of selling the too-small fish, and also of purchasing and storing seafood without a license.
“State environmental laws are in effect to wisely manage our wildlife resources and in this case, to monitor how fish are distributed to retailers and the general public,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “By failing to obtain the appropriate permits, [Chen] skirted the law.”
Chen is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11 and faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount gained by his illegal practices.