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Man Admits Smuggling Nearly 40,000 Piranhas to NYC
NBC Bay Area ^ | Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014

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.


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: piranhas
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1 posted on 01/29/2014 2:31:14 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t know if piranhas could survive the cold winter waters of most of the country.


2 posted on 01/29/2014 2:33:19 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: nickcarraway

Not to mention that they eat flesh...my God, what was that idiot thinking?


3 posted on 01/29/2014 2:33:44 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: nickcarraway

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.


4 posted on 01/29/2014 2:35:09 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: nickcarraway

What is the attraction or reason to want a piranha?


5 posted on 01/29/2014 2:36:18 PM PST by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
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To: Kackikat

But what are all the Evil Genius Villains supposed to lower their arch-enemies into a tank of now?

Gold fish?

Have you no imagination???


6 posted on 01/29/2014 2:37:27 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: NFHale
as long as HE makes a buck,

They're worth less than a dollar apiece, according to the article. I wonder what's the point?

7 posted on 01/29/2014 2:37:59 PM PST by Tax-chick (You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.)
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To: umgud

“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.


8 posted on 01/29/2014 2:41:45 PM PST by momtothree
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To: Tax-chick

RE Point:

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.


9 posted on 01/29/2014 2:42:24 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale
Hope they throw the frigging book at his ass.

No.. throw his ass in a pond with a few hundred of his fish.

10 posted on 01/29/2014 2:43:46 PM PST by Cobra64 (Common sense isn't common anymore.)
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To: NFHale
maybe the point WAS to decimate our waterways

That's not impossible.

11 posted on 01/29/2014 2:44:08 PM PST by Tax-chick (You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.)
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To: momtothree

“...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.


12 posted on 01/29/2014 2:44:10 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


13 posted on 01/29/2014 2:45:20 PM PST by toast
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To: ConservativeDude

Evil has no conscience, and neither does the guy who contaminates waters with these flesh eating fish, that children might play in.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/you-say-lateral-frontal-pole-i-say-that-little-devilangel-that-whispers-in-my-ear-9094043.html

The problem is I have a vivid imagination.


14 posted on 01/29/2014 2:48:47 PM PST by Kackikat
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To: nickcarraway

What law firm were they going to work for?


15 posted on 01/29/2014 2:48:48 PM PST by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: NFHale; Tax-chick

It could be a lot worse than reducing our waterways by 10%.


16 posted on 01/29/2014 2:49:07 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: NFHale
Dunno... maybe the point WAS to decimate our waterways - and part of our food supply...

Interesting point. I never thought of it, but I wonder if this ass hat has any particular religious preference?

17 posted on 01/29/2014 2:49:32 PM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: NFHale

That’s how I felt. Something just way “off” with him.


18 posted on 01/29/2014 2:49:32 PM PST by momtothree
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To: toast
We live in Minnesota so even if it had somehow escaped it wouldn’t live through the winter.

That's what YOU think...

Coming up next on SyFy..
Its.....ICERAHNA!!!
19 posted on 01/29/2014 2:50:14 PM PST by RandallFlagg (IRS = Internal Revenge Service)
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To: momtothree

When did you open up the newspaper and find out he was a serial killer?


20 posted on 01/29/2014 2:50:17 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Everything invasive ends up in Florida.


21 posted on 01/29/2014 2:50:53 PM PST by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: Rebelbase

Democrats?


22 posted on 01/29/2014 2:51:28 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

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...


23 posted on 01/29/2014 2:53:30 PM PST by momtothree
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To: nickcarraway; Tax-chick

“...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.


24 posted on 01/29/2014 2:58:13 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale

Drop him in a tank with his moneymakers.


25 posted on 01/29/2014 2:59:11 PM PST by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Mark17

“...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.


26 posted on 01/29/2014 3:01:11 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: momtothree

I wonder he does now, Pit Bull fighting?
Sick people in the world...


27 posted on 01/29/2014 3:02:18 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

Damn straight...


28 posted on 01/29/2014 3:02:42 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale; Tax-chick

There already are some piranha out there. I remember article about a few piranha in a lake in Pennsylvania and other places.


29 posted on 01/29/2014 3:05:29 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway; NFHale

Well, that’s pretty unpleasant. Maybe the climate keeps their reproductive rate down.


30 posted on 01/29/2014 3:06:11 PM PST by Tax-chick (You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.)
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To: All

These are tropical animals incapable of surviving temps below 50 centigrade. There is no place in the territorial where they can survive 1 year.


31 posted on 01/29/2014 3:08:18 PM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: COBOL2Java

“What law firm were they going to work for?”

They were hired by the EPA and IRS


32 posted on 01/29/2014 3:10:21 PM PST by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: nickcarraway
One of my African cichlids does a great impression of a piranha, but won't bite me, even lets me pet him.
33 posted on 01/29/2014 3:11:00 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: nickcarraway; Tax-chick

PA is my home state... that is truly disturbing.

RE Reproduction:
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.


34 posted on 01/29/2014 3:11:20 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Seriously, they can’t survive below 122F?


35 posted on 01/29/2014 3:12:56 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: nickcarraway

Apparently, piranhas are the food of choice for albino sewer alligators.


36 posted on 01/29/2014 3:15:35 PM PST by Nachoman (Wisdom is learned, cynicism is earned.)
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To: nickcarraway

Here kitty, kitty, kitty.

37 posted on 01/29/2014 3:19:17 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: nickcarraway

38 posted on 01/29/2014 3:22:14 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: nickcarraway
Back in the 70s I worked in Venezuela. In one of our “watering holes” they had a Piranha in an aquarium. We would take delight in tapping the edge of the aquarium. The fish would get angry and snap at the finger to our great delight.

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.

39 posted on 01/29/2014 3:27:21 PM PST by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

...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...


40 posted on 01/29/2014 3:36:30 PM PST by BCW (Salva reipublicae)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Good to hear that.


41 posted on 01/29/2014 3:37:26 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: Tax-chick; nickcarraway

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.


42 posted on 01/29/2014 3:41:34 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: umgud

They may be popular in NY, where mob-types and drug dealers take those who annoy them for a “swim in the pool”.


43 posted on 01/29/2014 3:43:48 PM PST by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: steve86

F not C, good catch.


44 posted on 01/29/2014 3:49:06 PM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Tax-chick; nickcarraway

THIS is a Piraya,, and that’s Jeremy Wade
http://www.loyolaphoenix.com/im-hooked-river-monsters-captivates-unlikely-viewer


45 posted on 01/29/2014 3:52:57 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale

“River Monsters” has been on Netflix streaming. My kids like it.


46 posted on 01/29/2014 3:59:25 PM PST by Tax-chick (You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.)
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To: nickcarraway
If anybody ever tries to import those little spiney things that crawl up your private orifices I'll kill ‘em with my bare hands!
47 posted on 01/29/2014 4:08:44 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: Tax-chick

Never fails to amaze me what he finds.


48 posted on 01/29/2014 4:09:33 PM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: umgud

Doug and Dinsdale Piranah, the famous brothers depicted in Monty Python skits, also happened to be real.


49 posted on 01/29/2014 4:29:20 PM PST by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: Tax-chick

Kind of parcel to the show myself.


50 posted on 01/29/2014 4:34:09 PM PST by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
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