Gone fishing? Officials say Los Angeles man charged with smuggling piranhas has disappeared

U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents are trying to find a Los Angeles man who disappeared before his court hearing on charges of smuggling piranha fish and freshwater stingrays.

Federal officials said Thursday that a judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Isaac Zimerman after the 61-year-old failed to appear in court on July 12.

Agents think Zimerman may have fled the country.

Piranha and fresh water stingrays are illegal in most of the southern United States because of the threat they pose to native species and humans if they are released into warm-weather rivers and lakes.

In May, a federal grand jury indicted Zimerman, his wife and his Hawthorne-based company, River Wonders, on 13 felony counts of conspiracy, smuggling and other charges.

His wife, Leonore Catalina Zimerman, pleaded guilty last month.