[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 10/02/20]
GROVELAND, Florida — The owner of a popular BBQ joint was charged last month with buying fish from an unlicensed fisherman.
According to an arrest affidavit, Gregory Antonio James, 55, owner of James’ BBQ, 262 East Orange Street, Groveland bought fish from an undercover Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) officer on three separate occasions over the course of several months.
In November 2019, an FWC agent, posing as an unlicensed fisherman, knocked on the back door of James’ BBQ and a female advised James was not there. The woman contacted James by phone and he told her to buy 18 black crappie, also known as speckled perch, for $20. The sale was captured on an audio recording device, the affidavit states.
In January 2020, and undercover agent sold James 35 black crappie for $50; this transaction was captured on video. Finally, in March 2020, James purchased 43 black crappie for $50. This sale was also captured on an audio recording device.
James was already in the Lake County Jail on a bond revocation order for unlawful sexual activity with a minor from a 2018 case when he was charged Sept. 21 with three counts of purchase of freshwater game fish. According to LCJ records, James has been sentenced on the above charges, along with several others. Sentencing records were not available at press time.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]