Man charged with selling invasive carp

June 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

MIDLAND, Mich., June 5 (UPI) -- An Arkansas man has been charged with possession of an illegal species after Michigan authorities caught him selling live invasive Asian carp from a truck.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged David Shane Costner, 42, of Harrisburg, Ark., with 10 felony counts of possession of an illegal species and two felony counts of selling an illegal species Tuesday, the Midland (Mich.) Daily News reported.

Undercover Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigators purchased two live grass carp from Costner May 16 in a parking lot in Midland, the newspaper said.

"Once destructive Asian carp enter our waterways, the damage cannot be undone," Schuette said in a news release. "We must remain vigilant and use every tool available to protect Michigan's tourism and sport-fishing industries from this dangerous threat."

Grass carp are herbivorous and can strip a waterway of natural vegetation, leaving nothing for native species.

The species has been illegal in Michigan for decades, and poses a threat to the Great Lakes.

"Invasive species in general and the Asian carp in particular pose one of the most serious current threats to the economy and the ecology of the Great Lakes," said Michigan DNR Director Rodney Stokes.

Arrangements have been made for Costner to turn himself over to police, the Daily News reported. If convicted, he could face as much as two years in prison and a $2,000 to $20,000 fine for each count.

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