Written by Leslie Taylor
An Oakland couple nabbed for poaching 108 commercial grade Dungeness crabs had the crustaceans stashed out of sight in a specially modified boat with secret compartments, according to prosecutors.
The discovery of the haul — five times the legal limit — led to the arrest and prosecution of spouses Minh Tran, 54, and Mai Tran, 52, both of Oakland. On Wednesday, both were sentenced for misdemeanor counts of taking more than three times the crab limit and illegally taking the crabs for profit. A third charge of failing to display the catch to warden upon demand was dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Minh Tran, who has prior convictions for the same conduct in a different county, received 10 days in jail, three years of court probation and a $20,580 fine. Mai Tran received five days jail followed by two years of court probation.
The pair must also forfeit their boat to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife which typically auctions them off but in this case will likely destroy it because of the compartments.
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