By: Parimal M. Rohit
SAN JOSE — A San Jose man was arraigned Dec. 8 after being accused by federal prosecutors of transporting endangered tropical fish in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Indicted by a grand jury in October, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported 39-year-old Ryan Lopez Bernardez is facing charges of transporting and selling two endangered Asian Arowana. The fish, which is listed as endangered, is also known as Asian bonytongue.
Any sales or transportation of endangered fish listed on the Endangered Species Act is illegal.
Bernardez, who was arrested in San Jose on Dec. 5, is reportedly out of custody. Bail was set at $100,000.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated if Bernardez is found guilty, he could face a five-year maximum sentence and a $250,000 fine.
Federal prosecutors said the Bernardez case is one of several spawning from an investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.