NC woman charged with smuggling endangered fish

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Investigators have charged a North Carolina woman with violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act by smuggling an endangered species of fish from Vietnam.

Multiple media outlets reported that Bich Phuong Truong Phan of Charlotte was charged after she was caught at an Atlanta airport with two Asian Bonytongue fish hidden inside bottles of fish sauce.

Authorities say Phan was brining the fish to a Charlotte pet shop where they could be sold for between $1,000 and $3,000. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the animals were implanted with chips to confirm their identity.

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty in July to federal charges of smuggling 10 Bonytongue fish into the U.S.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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