Wardens arrest 4 Bay Area residents for poaching abalone

(California Department of Fish and Wildlife)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California game wardens have arrested four suspects and charged them with poaching hundreds of the shellfish delicacy abalone.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday that the four were arrested in their homes after a five-month investigation.

They are suspected of harvesting the abalone from the waters off Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Abalone can fetch more than $100 each on the black market, but fishermen are limited to harvesting a dozen of the shellfish a year, Capt. Patrick Foy said.

Foy said two of the suspects were booked into Contra Costa County Jail and two into Santa Clara County Jail.

Jail records do not indicate if 48-year-old Thepbangon Nonnarath, 45-year-old Dennis Nonnarath, 45-year-old Thu Thi Tran and 42-year-old Cuong Huu Tran are represented by attorneys.

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