MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Three family members who run a northern Minnesota resort are accused of illegally catching and selling a prized bait fish which generated thousands of dollars in profits over the years.

Robert, Melinda and Melissa LaTourell are charged with violating the Lacey Act, a federal law that bans illegal trafficking in wildlife. The U.S. Attorney's Office says the LaTourell used nets and other methods to harvest ciscoes, also known as lake herring or tullibees, and then selling them to bait shops and other retailers from October 2012 to
December 2016.

The family owns LaTourell's Resort on Moose Lake near Ely. The family's attorney, Robert Richman, says the LaTourells deny any wrongdoing.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app