SPRINGFIELD - A former Shell Knob man has pleaded guilty to catching paddlefish in illegal nets at Table Rock Lake, harvesting the eggs and selling the resulting caviar in Tennessee.
Thirty-nine-year-old Thomas Jerry Nix, of Memphis, Tenn., admitted the scheme Wednesday in federal court in Springfield. The scheme violated several state and federal laws.
Nix says he and another person would take eggs from the paddlefish and process them into caviar at his Shell Knob home. He then sold the caviar to a company in Tennessee.
Prosecutors say Nix sold about 387 pounds of caviar for a total of $35,820.
The co-conspirator has not been publicly identified.
Nix faces a maximum of five years in prison without parole and a fine of $250,000.