Based on intensive surveillance over the last several weeks, California game wardens arrested two suspects for commercialization of sport-caught fish and dungeness crabs.
Tam Van Tran, 62, and his wife Lanh Thi Nguyen Tran, 59, both of San Jose, were arrested on December 30th during service of a search warrant related to an ongoing poaching investigation. Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens observed the suspects routinely taking fish, including sturgeon, and crab under the authority of a recreational fishing license, then illegally selling their catch on the black market. Neither suspect has a commercial fishing license, and both are repeat sturgeon poaching offenders.
“Commercial sale of sport-caught fish and crabs can significantly affect the population of these species as a whole, especially with sensitive species such as sturgeon,” said DFG’s Capt. Bob Farrell. “It ultimately harms the honest anglers who follow the laws, and impacts the very species the regulations were established to protect.”
Based upon surveillance, game wardens allege the pair conspired to profit from the sale of sturgeon, striped bass and dungeness crabs with a black market network of buyers that they have developed over the years.
The volume of the fish taken by both suspects has DFG personnel most concerned. Though suspects were under investigation for only a few weeks, they have been on the wardens’ radar for more than one year, thanks to tips from the public. They were known to fish throughout the year in many locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and along the coast.
Both suspects face felony conspiracy charges and multiple poaching-related charges.
Two California Poachers Busted in California