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Statesman Journal, Salem 5-5-2003


Poaching ring could land man in prison

Staff, news services
May 5, 2003

TACOMA, Wash. — A Pierce County man could face almost 20 years in prison for running a crab and clam poaching ring in Puget Sound.

Douglas John Martin Tobin, 50, of Fife, Wash., was charged in March 2002 with heading a geoduck theft and illegal crab harvesting ring.

Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Moore said he will argue for a sentence of 19 years and eight months for Tobin as part of plea agreement the past week.

Tobin admitted being part of a geoduck and crab operation in which nearly 200,000 pounds of clams and about 85,000 pounds of crab illegally were taken and sold throughout the Pacific Northwest and Asia.

Under the agreement, Tobin pleaded guilty to first degree theft of geoduck, 33 violations of trafficking in fish and wildlife related to illegal dungeness crab harvesting, one count of fishing in a closed area or during a closed season and one count each of fish dealing without a license, selling shellfish without a health certificate, failure to fill out harvest records and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Sentencing is expected in June. Tobin has been in the Pierce County Jail since his arrest in March 2002.

Moore said the stiff sentence is warranted because of the sophistication of the operation, the number of people involved, the severity of the crime and Tobin’s criminal record.

Bruce Bjork of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tobin’s theft operation caused significant harm to southern Puget Sound’s geoduck and crab resources.
 

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[ 05-05-2003, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: snowball ]
 

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What was that guy thinking?
200,000lbs of clams and 85,000lbs of crabs!! Did he not think he would eventually get caught or what?
 

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Poaching is poaching. Send 'em all a message and hit them where it hurts.....the wallet!
 

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This guy should have some creative, costly, and lifelong consequences for his actions.

First get him a big sign
and stand him on the corner in Seattles busiest waterfront street. The sign should say soimething along the lines of how he has stolen from all of us and that he IS A THIEF. Make him go everyday and march up & down the street.

Second make him replace what he took from us. Not with dollars but with community service - still with the sign


Lastly - No more fishing or hunting for a LIFETIME.

Update the story on the news to remind people of the consequences of their actions.

People need to see that thiefs are punished and not slapped on the hand.

FIRM BUT FAIR - an eye for an eye...
 
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