Published January 09, 2010, 09:20 PM

Michigan bait dealer faces N.D. import charges

A March 31 jury trial has been set for a Michigan bait company accused of doing business in North Dakota without the required import permit. DMF Bait Co., Waterford, Mich., was charged in Ramsey County with interstate transport of live bait without a permit. A pretrial conference is set for March 23, with the jury trial scheduled to begin March 31, court records show.

By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald

A March 31 jury trial has been set for a Michigan bait company accused of doing business in North Dakota without the required import permit.

DMF Bait Co., Waterford, Mich., was charged in Ramsey County with interstate transport of live bait without a permit. A pretrial conference is set for March 23, with the jury trial scheduled to begin March 31, court records show.

According to a criminal complaint, DMF Bait transported live bait into North Dakota, supplying bait to the Devils Lake Wal-Mart store, from March 1 to July 31, 2009, without obtaining a valid monthly import permit required to legally bring bait into the state.

The company made 23 separate shipments to the Wal-Mart store during that time, court records show.

Court records indicate Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, sent the company a letter Jan. 28, 2009, advising them of the monthly permit requirements and how to apply for the permit, which is available at no charge.

The company is accused of ignoring the requirements, court records show, and of not obtaining permits to transport bait into North Dakota in 2008.

In an interview, Power said North Dakota for years has required wholesalers to have an import or export permit for any live bait carried into or out of the state. Bait dealers cannot bring fathead minnows into North Dakota, Power said, although aquatic baits such as leeches and creek chubs, along with baits such as nightcrawlers and waxworms, are allowed as long as they meet state requirements.

Power said the state imposed the restriction on fathead minnows because they’re widely available in North Dakota waters.

In order to obtain the monthly permits, wholesalers also must have a wholesaler bait license. Resident wholesale licenses cost $50, Power said; for nonresidents, a Class A wholesaler license, which allows them to trap bait, is $500 while the more restrictive Class B license costs $250.

North Dakota also requires retail bait vendors to have a license, which costs $15 annually, Power said.

Power said North Dakota has about 45 wholesalers and 250 retailers who are licensed to do business in the state. DMF Bait was licensed as a wholesaler, he said.

In 2006, DMF Bait was convicted for operating as a wholesale bait vendor in Ramsey County without obtaining a license. The company paid $725 in fines and court costs for that violation, court records show.

According to Power, states across the U.S. have tightened their bait regulations in recent years to reduce the threat of introducing aquatic nuisance species such as Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels.

Interstate transport of live bait without a permit is a Class B misdemeanor.

DL man sentenced for deer violation

A Devils Lake man has lost his hunting privileges for a year after being found guilty in Ramsey County of taking a big game animal without a license.

Dustin Sackenreuter also must pay $800 in fines and court costs, online court records show.

According to a criminal complaint, Sackenreuter was charged with shooting a whitetail buck when he didn’t have an antlered deer license Nov. 22 in Ramsey County.

A court trial was held Friday in Ramsey County District Court.

Taking big game without a license is a Class A misdemeanor.

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