Endangered Species

Former fugitive fish smuggler pleads guilty, prosecutors say

A former West Hills resident who once led authorities on a four-year manhunt through Europe and Israel pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling endangered fish into Canada, federal prosecutors said.

Isaac Zimerman, 66, admitted to smuggling two Arapaima gigas, a giant freshwater fish that is native to South America and is protected under a global registry of endangered wildlife, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Zimerman; his Hawthorne-based company, River Wonders; and his wife, Leonor Catalina Zimerman, had been charged in 2009 in connection with an illicit global fish trading enterprise. Prosecutors had alleged they were smuggling and trafficking...