Fish Smugglers Sent to Prison

NEW YORK -- A Manhattan federal court sentenced three men to prison Friday for illegally harvesting a massive amount of Chilean sea bass and rock lobster from South African waters and exporting it to the United States.

Arnold Bengis, 68, who has dual South African-U.S. citizenship and is the former head of a South African fishing company, was sentenced to 46 months; son David, 34, received 12 months. Their associate Jeffrey Noll, 53, of Marietta, Ga., received a 30-month term in the scheme to smuggle lobster and sea bass, which is also known as Patagonian toothfish. Scientists fear sea bass face extinction through overfishing.

* HOMER GLEN, Ill. -- A small U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plane crashed about 30 miles southwest of Chicago Friday, killing the pilot, officials said.

No one was injured on the ground after the twin-engine Cessna crashed in the village of Homer Glen, authorities said.

The pilot, whose name was not released, had worked for the DEA since 1989. The plane had been headed to St. Louis, where it was stationed, at the time of the accident, DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy said.

* DANVILLE, Ill. -- A former death row inmate who said he was wrongly convicted of stabbing a newlywed couple to death walked out of prison after 17 years behind bars. Gordon Randall Steidl, 52, was released after prosecutors said they could not meet a deadline for retrying him.

* COLUMBIA, S.C. -- James Neil Tucker, who killed two women while looking for money 12 years ago, was executed in South Carolina's electric chair. Tucker, 47, is the first inmate in the nation to go to the electric chair in more than a year, and the first to be electrocuted in South Carolina since 1996.

* DETROIT -- Investigators looking into the 1975 disappearance of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa ripped up floorboards in a Detroit house where traces of blood were uncovered by Fox News Channel. In an upcoming book, Frank Sheeran, a Pennsylvania Teamster official who died last year, said he shot Hoffa inside the house in 1975. In another version of the tale, Sheeran said he picked up Hoffa's body and drove it to a trash incinerator. Fox sent experts to the house in March.

* MIAMI -- A doctor and his business partner sold diluted cancer and AIDS drugs in a scheme that netted nearly $60 million, prosecutors said. The drugs were seized in 2002, and none are known to have reached patients, the Florida attorney general's office said. Paul Perito, 42, a Coral Gables urologist, and Nicholas Just, 47, were charged Thursday with racketeering, product tampering and other crimes for allegedly selling the drugs to middlemen.

* BOISE, Idaho -- A nurse preparing a drowned toddler for a funeral home noticed the boy was breathing -- more than an hour after he had been pronounced dead. Logan Pinto, who is 22 months old, fell into a canal Thursday and was submerged for nearly 30 minutes before police found him a half-mile downstream from his home in Rexburg. Nurse Mary Zollinger noticed the boy's chest moving, and he was listed in critical condition after being taken to a children's hospital in Salt Lake City.

* TACOMA, Wash. -- Nine minutes of unpaid work a day for four years equals a proposed $7.2 million settlement for prison guards and other state workers who were required to do extra tasks before their shifts began.

-- From News Services