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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wholesaler Sentenced for Illegal Oyster Sales

(CN) - A Maryland seafood wholesaler has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for trafficking in illegally possessed oysters.

Mark Bryan, of New Market, Md., was sentenced to 26 months in prison and three years supervised released once he's freed, in the Camden, New Jersey Federal Court.

Bryan was also fined $62,500 and must pay New Jersey $140,000 for the restoration of oyster bays in Delaware bay.

Bryan's company, Harbor House Seafood, was also fined $250,000 and sentenced to five years of probation.

Bryan and Harbor House were convicted in 2012 of multiple felony crimes related to dealings in illegal oysters from 2004 to 2007.

According to prosecutors, for more than four years, Bryan conspired with New Jersey oystermen Thomas Reeves and Todd Reeves to cover up the Reeves' overharvest of oysters from the Delaware Bay.

Bryan, through his company, Harbor House Seafood, purchased the illegal oysters from the Reeves, then assisted in covering up the Reeves' overharvest by maintaining double-books, providing federal agents with false records, and by falsifying his FDA-mandated health and safety logs, prosecutors said.

Bryan was also charged with purchasing illegal oysters from oyster harvester Kenneth Bailey of New Jersey.

In all, Bryan moved, purchased and sold over $1.2 million worth of illegal oysters, prosecutors said.

The Reeves and Bailey were previously sentenced, to 26 months, 16 months, and 12 months in prison, respectively, for their roles.

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