Two cited for seafood freshness packaging scam

Delaune, Smith allegedly conspired to mislabel mahi-mahi filets, LDWF says

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries busted two men for alleged commercial seafood labeling violations in Orleans Parish, according to a press release.

Sean Delaune, 26, of New Orleans, was cited for misbranding seafood packages and Thomas Smith, 49, of Darien, Ga., was cited for conspiring to misbrand seafood packages during a March 4 inspection of the Gulf Atlantic Fisheries seafood wholesaler in New Orleans.

During the inspection, agents allegedly observed packages of mahi-mahi filets being repacked from one bag labeled for retail sale into another bag being labeled for retail sale, with the major difference between the bags being the “best by” dates.

Bags that had a best by date of September, 2013 were being repacked into bags with best by dates of May, 2016, the release states.

Misbranding seafood brings up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail, while conspiring to misbrand seafood brings up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Agents seized 14,850 pounds of mahi-mahi filets from the men, the release states.