Mass. father, son plead guilty to wildlife crimes


SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A father and son from West Springfield have been convicted of importing and selling live freshwater fish without the proper permits in violation of state and federal law.

Authorities say 69-year-old Michael Zombik and 48-year-old Paul Zombik pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.

Federal prosecutors say they ran a wholesale bait shop in the city that purchased and sold millions of dollars' worth of live freshwater bait fish and game fish that was then distributed to other states, all without the proper state permits.

Authorities say the Zombiks' actions increased the likelihood of diseases and invasive species crossing state lines.

They are scheduled to be sentenced March 13 when they face a maximum of five years in prison.