CDFW Violations

California Wildlife Officers Arrest Convicted Sacramento Poacher for Continued Violations

posted Apr 27, 2014, 7:56 AM by Chuck B

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News Release
 
April 25, 2014
 
Contact:  Lt. Patrick Foy (916) 508-7095
 
California Wildlife Officers Arrest Convicted Sacramento Poacher for Continued Violations
 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Officers arrested a convicted poacher who continued violating fish and wildlife laws after his fishing license was permanently revoked.  Nai Choy Saelee, age 30, of Sacramento, continued poaching using a fraudulent fishing license obtained with the aid of his brother.
 
In 2010, Nai Choy Saelee was arrested for, and plead guilty to, poaching abalone and illegally possessing abalone for sale, which led to a lifetime revocation of his fishing license by the Mendocino County Superior Court.  CDFW wildlife officers allege that during each of the last three years since the license revocation, Saelee, with the assistance of his brother, Peter Choy Saelee, age 25, fraudulently obtained a fishing license using his brother’s identification.  Nai Choy Saelee continued poaching and selling fish for profit on the Sacramento black market using the fraudulently obtained fishing license. Wildlife officers allege in those three years, Nai Choy Saelee accrued two additional misdemeanor poaching citations under his brother’s name, and was under investigation for a third, before they were able to prove he was using a fraudulently obtained fishing license.
 
“A fishing or hunting license revocation remains one of the best tools to keep poachers in check,” said CDFW Captain David Bess. “This case represents the determination of a convicted poacher with a revoked fishing license who continued to sell California’s fish and wildlife for personal profit.”
 
On Friday, April 25, 2014, wildlife officers arrested Nai Choy Saelee at his Sacramento residence for illegally taking fish for profit, and for unlawfully obtaining and possessing a fishing license acquired by means of fraud and deceit. He was booked into the Sacramento County Jail. An investigation continues to determine Peter Choy Saelee’s level of involvement in the license fraud conspiracy.
 
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Please do not reply to this e-mail. CDFWNews@wildlife.ca.gov is for outgoing messages only and is not checked for incoming mail. For questions about this News Release, contact the individual(s) listed above. Thank you.
 
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When you file your California income tax return, please consider making a voluntary contribution to the California Sea Otter Fund (line 410) or the Rare and Endangered Species Fund (line 403).  Thank you!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 29, 2013

posted Sep 2, 2013, 5:49 PM by Chuck B


Sacramento Media Contact: Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 996-9003

Bay Area Media Contact: Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095

 

CDFW Officers Arrest 13 Poaching Suspects in Oakland and Sacramento

 

Based on an intensive investigation dubbed Operation Oakland Abalone Syndicate, California game wardens arrested 13 suspects in Oakland and Sacramento for harvesting sport caught abalone and possession for commercial sale. It is illegal to harvest wild abalone for commercial sale anywhere in California.

 

Suspects arrested were Chinh Quan Le, 60, Khoa Dang Nguyen, 40, Hung Ngoc Quoc Vo, 41 and Toi Van Nguyen, 48. All four men are from Oakland and all four had previous abalone poaching convictions. In addition, wardens arrested Hai Van Ha, 43, Duoc Van Nguyen, 48 and Nhan Trong Le, 46, all also of Oakland; Andy Phan, 47, of Fairfield, and Charlie Le, 55, of Alameda. In Sacramento officers arrested Dung Van Nguyen, 40, Hiep Ho, 46, Hung Van Le, 42 and Tho Than Phan, 59.

 

“Unless it is stopped, poaching will degrade California’s abalone population over time,” said CDFW’s Capt. David Bess. “It ultimately affects the honest, sport abalone harvesters who follow the laws.”

 

Based upon surveillance, game wardens allege the men conspired to profit from the sale of abalone with a black market network of buyers in the Bay Area and Sacramento.

 

Game wardens wish to express appreciation for the honest abalone divers’ patience with abalone report card requirements and abalone checkpoints. Both were an integral part of the investigation. The suspects face charges ranging from felony conspiracy to multiple poaching-related violations.

 

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 Note: This e-mail account is used to distribute information to the public. Do not reply to this e-mail; instead, direct questions or comments regarding the information contained in this e-mail to the Department staff listed as points of contact for this subject - thank you.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 10, 2013

posted Apr 11, 2013, 7:14 AM by Chuck B   [ updated Apr 11, 2013, 7:15 AM ]

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News Release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 10, 2013

 

Contacts:

Lt. Eric Kord, CDFW Law Enforcement, (858) 538-6017

Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

 

Abalone Poachers Sentenced to Probation, Community Service, Fined and Lose Gear

 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has noted an apparent increase in abalone poaching in Southern California waters. Potential abalone poachers and the general public should be aware wardens are on the lookout, and penalties for illegally taking abalone can be stiff.

 

Two Southern California men recently pleaded no contest to misdemeanor Fish and Game Code violations in Los Angeles Superior Court. They were each ordered to:

 

• Serve three years’ probation;

• Pay a $2,405 fine;

• Pay an additional $1,000 fine to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to be used to implement wildlife preservation policies;

• Successfully complete a 3- to 5-unit marine biology course at a local college;

• Serve 40 hours of community service, and

• Forfeit diving and fishing gear.

 

Wade Anthony Curtatola of Rancho Cucamonga was diving off Catalina Island on Sept. 29, 2012, the opening day of lobster season. With no other boats in the area, a warden went into the water near where Curtatola surfaced behind a boat in 30 feet of water and found a spear gun and game bag filled with a horn shark, four abalone and 13 lobster tails. Samples of genetic materials taken from Curtatola’s equipment matched the species found in the dive bag. Curtatola pleaded to misdemeanor counts of taking abalone in a closed area, over-limit of lobster and possession of tailed lobster.

 

"All it takes is one drop of blood, or a few cells from an animal to make positive identifications of illegally taken species,” said Lt. Eric Kord, CDFW Law Enforcement. “CDFW and our partners are using the latest tools and technology to help protect California’s resources.”

 

Bruce Allen Boyd of Oceanside was fishing off Catalina Island the same day, Sept. 29, when wildlife officers boarded his boat for an inspection. Wildlife officers found a dive bag with a large abalone concealed in a trash can. The abalone was photographed and returned to the ocean. Boyd was charged with one violation and pleaded to a misdemeanor count of taking abalone in a closed area.

 

It has been illegal to take abalone since 1997 in the southern half of the state (San Francisco Bay south to Mexican border) due to over fishing, disease and sea otter predation.

 

“We have seen a pretty sharp rise in abalone poaching here in Southern California over the last 18 months or so,” said Kord. “Most anglers are responsible fishermen and know the laws; the enforcement is to protect resources from the rest.” 

 

Illegally taking abalone has some of the highest penalties in the Fish and Game Code, and can include of up to a year in jail, fines in the thousands of dollars, permanent loss of fishing licenses and confiscation of fishing and diving gear.

 

# # #

  

 Note: This e-mail account is used to distribute information to the public. Do not reply to this e-mail; instead, direct questions or comments regarding the information contained in this e-mail to the Department staff listed as points of contact for this subject - thank you.

 

- Subscribe (or unsubscribe) to CDFW Marine Region News Service (e-mail notification of ocean-related news and information) at  www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/subscribe.asp .

   

 - Subscribe to CDFW News via e-mail or RSS feed -- go to    www.dfg.ca.gov/news

   

 -  Like CDFW on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDFW  and Twitter  @CaliforniaDFW

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