GRIFFITH, Ind. — A Northwest Indiana man pleaded guilty to importing more than 2,600 pounds of live catfish into Illinois.

Michael Sullivan, of Griffith, entered a negotiated guilty plea to one count of importing live fish without a permit.

Investigators determined Sullivan imported more 2,600 pounds of catfish into a Plainfield lake during three separate occasions in 2021. The fish were purchased in Mississippi and Alabama.

Channel catfish are one species that is susceptible to viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), which can decimate fish populations, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“While VHS has been found in the Great Lakes, currently we have not detected this disease outside of Lake Michigan in Illinois,” said Kevin Irons, assistant chief of fisheries at IDNR.

Sullivan received 24 months court supervision and $227 in fines and court fees. He was ordered to perform 30 hours of community service and pay $10,500 in restitution to the IDNR Conservation Police Operations Assistance Fund.