A Maryland Heights, Missouri man has been sentenced to probation and was ordered by the court to pay a fine totaling over $10,000 for charges related to wildlife trafficking. 54-year-old Rex Dale Rains was sentenced on two counts of false labeling under the Lacey Act for allegedly illegally transporting and selling blue tilapia which he obtained outside Illinois. In addition to probation Rains must a $500 fine and a $100 special assessment.
The court also orders Rains to pay restitution of $3000 each, totaling $6000. He must also pay $3,120 for the collateral forfeiture of the fish and must return the $1320 he received for the fish. Rains will pay a total of $11,040 for his offenses. Tilapia is a non-native fish that has caused significant damage to the native ecosystems in which they have been released. The case was investigated by the Special Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, the IDNR Conservation Police.