A Portland company has pleaded guilty to illegally importing live sea urchins from Canada and reselling them in domestic and foreign markets.

ISF Trading Co. entered the plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The company admitted violating the Lacey Act, a law that bars trading in wildlife that is illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold.

Federal officials said ISF Trading bought sea urchins from a Canadian company, TGK Fisheries of Grand Manan, that wasn’t authorized under Canadian law to export urchins to the U.S. ISF Trading used the label of another Canadian supplier, Matthews Seafood of New Brunswick, to bring the urchins to the United States at the Calais Port of Entry.

According to court records, ISF Trading illegally imported about 48,000 pounds of sea urchins, with a processed roe worth at least $172,800, from TGK from Dec. 31, 2010 to Feb. 1, 2011.

ISF Trading faces up to five years of probation and up to $1.25 million in fines and forfeitures for the violations.

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