Letter: … frozen ciscoes that have been kept for over five years at taxpayer expense

Letter to the Editor:
Recently I wrote to Rep. Stauber re a raid on The Great Outdoors shop in Ely and the confiscation of ciscoes from the proprietor, Jim Maki. The 2016 raid by armed federal agents was part of an investigation into reports that allege that the bait fish were illegally harvested on the Canadian side of a border river by a supplier to The Great Outdoors.
In a prompt reply from Stauber’s office, I learned that the case was charged in September of 2020 and will go to trial in April of this year, 2022.
A couple of questions about the handling of this case so far:
1. Why did it take about four years to bring charges in a case that seemed to the feds to be so exigent that it required a handful of armed agents to raid a small bait shop and seize several thousand dollars worth of the proprietor’s goods?.
2. What evidentiary value is there in packages of frozen ciscoes that have been kept for over five years at taxpayer expense? Does the prosecutor expect to call an ichthyologist to assert unequivocally that these fish were harvested a few feet across a mid-river border in Canada?
Perhaps the feds could apply their zeal and the skills learned in this incident to monitor what was once this country’s southern border.
I respectfully thank Rep. Stauber for his quick reply.
Doug Luthanen
Ely, MN