Skip to comments.Man Admits Smuggling Nearly 40,000 Piranhas to NYC
Posted on 01/29/2014 2:31:14 PM PST by nickcarraway
He instructed an overseas distributor to label the fish as silver tetras, prosecutors said
A New York City man is accused of smuggling nearly 40,000 piranhas into the U.S. by having them mislabeled as harmless aquarium fish, prosecutors said.
Joel Rakower and his fish distribution company pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to pay more than $70,000 in fines and restitution.
Authorities said Rakower admitted buying the aggressive fish from a Hong Kong supplier that he instructed to falsely label the shipments as silver tetras, a more common household fish.
He began importing the mislabeled fish in 2011, shortly after New York City prohibited possession of piranhas, and continued through 2012, prosecutors said.
In all, he smuggled 39,548 piranhas, worth $37,376, that were then sold to fish retailers throughout the U.S.
Twenty-five states either ban or regulate piranhas, which could pose a serious risk to ecosystems if they got into native waters.
I don’t know if piranhas could survive the cold winter waters of most of the country.
Not to mention that they eat flesh...my God, what was that idiot thinking?
This guy’s a REAL POS, isn’t he...
These are freshwater carnivores, that, if they got into the lakes and rivers in this country, would decimate - hell, Annihilate - indigenous fish populations. Not to mention making swimming and other water recreation extremely hazardous.
But hey... as long as HE makes a buck, it’s OK...
Hope they throw the frigging book at his ass.
What is the attraction or reason to want a piranha?
But what are all the Evil Genius Villains supposed to lower their arch-enemies into a tank of now?
Have you no imagination???
They're worth less than a dollar apiece, according to the article. I wonder what's the point?
“What is the attraction or reason to want a piranha?”
Not sure. A guy use to sit next to me when I was in college and he had one. One day, he told me how he would throw in a mouse and the piranha would strip it to the bone.. slowly (because he had only one piranha). Thank goodness it was the end of the semester.. he creeped me out.
Dunno... maybe the point WAS to decimate our waterways - and part of our food supply... Who knows... the guy’s a shitball for sure though.
I put nothing past ANYONE these days.
No.. throw his ass in a pond with a few hundred of his fish.
That's not impossible.
“...he told me how he would throw in a mouse and the piranha would strip it to the bone.. slowly ...”
That’s one sick SOB.
Not real fond of mice myself, but I sure as HELL ain’t fond of seeing something tortured without a fighting chance.
My brother had an aquarium of about 10 pirana’s when we were in high school. He fed them but they still took chunks out of each other. After about 2 months he only had one. That one lived for about 2 years. It got to be pretty good size. He fed it raw hamburger. It was the only fish in his 100 gallon tank. We live in Minnesota so even if it had somehow escaped it wouldn’t live through the winter.
Evil has no conscience, and neither does the guy who contaminates waters with these flesh eating fish, that children might play in.
The problem is I have a vivid imagination.
What law firm were they going to work for?
It could be a lot worse than reducing our waterways by 10%.
Interesting point. I never thought of it, but I wonder if this ass hat has any particular religious preference?
That’s how I felt. Something just way “off” with him.
When did you open up the newspaper and find out he was a serial killer?
Everything invasive ends up in Florida.
He was that creepy. Fortunately, I had other friends around me. At the end of the semester, he asked me out. I said I had a really loving boyfriend who was a Marine (lied through my teeth on that one). It worked though...
“...It could be a lot worse than...”
It would be catastrophic. They’d multiply fast, and destroy edible/sport fish. Like the Snakeheads that some other asswipe snuck into the country from Asia some years ago. They are horrible little bastards that ate the living hell out of bass, trout, etc., and caused major damage.
Drop him in a tank with his moneymakers.
“...has any particular religious preference?...”
With a name like “Joel Rakower” he sounds less like “Religion of Pieces” and more like a worshipper of “The Almighty Greenback”.
But you never know with folks nowadays. Anything is possible.
Some people depend on the waterways for food.
I wonder he does now, Pit Bull fighting?
Sick people in the world...
There already are some piranha out there. I remember article about a few piranha in a lake in Pennsylvania and other places.
Well, that’s pretty unpleasant. Maybe the climate keeps their reproductive rate down.
These are tropical animals incapable of surviving temps below 50 centigrade. There is no place in the territorial where they can survive 1 year.
“What law firm were they going to work for?”
They were hired by the EPA and IRS
PA is my home state... that is truly disturbing.
Since they’re tropical and are used to warmer water, you may have a point there. Don’t know enough about them other than they’re voracious predators when they are have the numbers.
Seriously, they can’t survive below 122F?
Apparently, piranhas are the food of choice for albino sewer alligators.
One fool thought it would be a good idea to do the same at the waters top of the aquarium. He quickly learned that was a bad idea. :).
Whiskey consumed in great quantities has a tendency to cloud better judgement.
...isn’t there a documentary that proved that Piranhas can live in 45 degree water...and some where surviving winters by swimming next to natural springs that empty into a lake area???
technically - they could be released in the Mississippi River and migrate south for the winter - and wreak havoc during the summer...
Good to hear that.
Slightly off-topic, but check out a show called “River Monsters” on Animal Planet when you get a chance.
The guy on this show, professional fisherman Jeremy Wade, travels all over the world to find freshwater horrors that will give you nightmares.
Look for the “Piraya” episode and take a look at the teeth on THAT nightmare.
Or the Wels Catfish, and another called the Goonch. Simply hideous... and gigantic.
They may be popular in NY, where mob-types and drug dealers take those who annoy them for a “swim in the pool”.
F not C, good catch.
THIS is a Piraya,, and that’s Jeremy Wade
“River Monsters” has been on Netflix streaming. My kids like it.
Never fails to amaze me what he finds.
Doug and Dinsdale Piranah, the famous brothers depicted in Monty Python skits, also happened to be real.
Kind of parcel to the show myself.