SP commercial poacher charged with felony

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Posted by on June 23, 2007 at 09:32:25:

Fisherman also faces charges of poaching in San Monica Bay marine refuge.

One of two San Pedro fishermen accused of poaching lobsters from the Santa Monica Bay was charged Friday with four felony counts of attempted perjury.

Michael Gordon Hulse, 59, allegedly falsified fishing logs from January to March 2007 - when he was illegally trapping hundreds of spiny lobsters in the bay to sell at a San Pedro fish market, authorities said.

Hulse and Ramon Duran Sambrano, 37, were arrested March 19 at the Los Cerritos Channel after an investigation by the California Department of Fish and Game.

At the time, the pair were attempting to unload 299 spiny lobsters - about $5,000 worth - that they had caught in a Santa Monica Bay marine refuge, which is off-limits to commercial fishermen, authorities said.

Hulse and Sambrano were each charged earlier with grand theft, felony conspiracy and three misdemeanor counts, including the unlawful use of lobster traps in a restricted area, said Deputy District Attorney Danette Gomez.

If convicted, they could face up to nine years in prison, Gomez said.

Hulse, who had the only fishing license, had been mandated by the Department of Fish and Game to record the locations of his catches every month, Gomez said.

He allegedly falsified logs to report he had been trapping lobster at Horseshoe Kelp, near Los Angeles Harbor.

"We have (global positioning system) tracking evidence that shows he was nowhere near Horseshoe Kelp," Gomez said.

This is Hulse's first criminal case. Sambrano has a felony record, including a 1988 conviction for having unlawful sex with a minor, records show.

Both men are scheduled to appear July 17 in Long Beach Superior Court for a preliminary hearing.

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