"In 2007, John Yates was the captain of the Miss Katie, a commercial fishing boat working in the Gulf of Mexico. John Jones, a federally deputized Florida Fish and Game Wildlife Commission officer, was patrolling offshore. He saw the Miss Katie, boarded it to conduct a safety inspection, and found some undersized red grouper. He told Yates to put the grouper aside for reinspection when he returned to port, but Yates decided retroactively to adopt a 'catch-and-release' program. Yates threw the undersized fish overboard, and replaced them with fish that were large enough to be caught. Bad move.
"Catching undersized grouper is not a crime; it’s subject to only a fine and maybe a fishing license suspension. But the government charged Yates with violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by destroying a 'tangible object' in order to obstruct a federal civil investigation -- a crime punishable by up to twenty years’ imprisonment."
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014
One fish. Two fish. Three fish. Guilty.
Paul J. Larkin, Jr., Senior Legal Research Fellow, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation, with a guest post at ACSblog on the November 5, 2014 U.S. Supreme Court oral argument scheduled in Yates v. United States.