Re: Abalone poachers sent to prison

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Posted by on July 01, 2004 at 19:06:05:

In Reply to: Abalone poachers sent to prison posted by on July 01, 2004 at 12:27:04:

UKIAH, Calif. - Two Southern California men will go to prison for being caught with what authorities say was the largest single illegal abalone haul in California in 15 years.

Kurt Allen Ward, 43, and Joshua Holt, 34, both commercial fishermen from San Ysidro, each were sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison.

In addition, the judge ordered Ward's boat and fishing gear be forfeited and he fined Ward $40,000. Holt was fined $20,000.

Both men were also banned from fishing again, either commercially or for recreation.

The judge told the men he was sending them to prison "to let others know this is not something they should do."

State Fish and Game officials arrested the men with 468 red abalone May 20.

Under state law, a person can harvest no more than three abalone a day and 24 a year.

The harvest was worth about $23,000 on the black market, said Fish and Game Lt. Kathy Ponting.

Ward, a former Mendocino County resident and third-generation fisherman, apologized for breaking the law but told the judge he thought the sentence was too harsh for the crime.

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