Amid the tawdry noise emanating from Washington, DNA Plant Technology Corp. last Friday quietly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of conspiracy to violate the now-defunct Tobacco Seed Export law.

Under the plea bargain arrangement, DNAP has agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice's investigation of the tobacco industry and could be fined up to $200,000, or twice the "pecuniary gain" it garnered under its contract with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.