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DEPT. OF MARINE RESOURCES
Rockland Man Summonsed for Illegal Possession of $22,100 Worth of Elvers
The Maine Marine Patrol issued a summons on Tuesday, April 9 to Dale A. Boyington, 35, of Rockland for illegal possession of 11 pounds of elvers worth $22,100.
The summons was issued by Marine Patrol Sergeant Robert Beal who, while conducting surveillance at the York toll booth with Marine Patrol Officers David Testaverde and Jeffrey Turcotte, observed Boyington travelling north on interstate 95.
Information developed by a Marine Patrol investigation led the two to apprehend Boyington near the Kennebunk exit on I-95 and cite him for possession of elvers without a Maine license.
“This is another example of Marine Patrol Officers doing a remarkable job of investigation,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These law enforcement officials work hard, but they also work smart to outwit those who endanger Maine’s precious natural resources by harvesting illegally.”
Boyington was traveling in a U-Haul van loaded with equipment for harvesting and transporting elvers, which in addition to the elvers was confiscated and will be held as evidence. Since the elvers were sold, the money along with the U-Haul and equipment will be held pending outcome of the case.
Boyington is scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court on June 5.
Illegal possession of elvers in Maine is now classified as a civil crime with a fine of up to $2,000. However, having passed the Maine House and Senate with an emergency provision, LD 632 will criminalize all elver fishery violations. The Governor is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.
The bill requires an elver harvester to provide, upon request of a law enforcement officer or elver dealer, a government-issued identification with the harvester's photograph and birth date. The bill restricts the form of payment for the sale of elvers to a check. It also converts many elver fishing violations that are currently civil violations to Class D crimes, with the potential for jail time, and requires courts to impose the maximum $2000 fine for those Class D crimes.
“This new law will provide a greater deterrent to those who are motivated by the large sums of money that can be made in this fishery,” said Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “When an unlicensed person can make tens of thousands of dollars in one night and only faces a fine that amounts to a fraction of that, the deterrent is not there. This new law will change that.”
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