fish poachers

West Coast Fish Poaching Ring Busted, Sentenced

 Three Fresno men that were busted for poaching and unlawfully trafficking sport fish are now facing jail time.

Three men from the Fresno area were caught red-handed poaching, among other things, striped bass, and have now had the California Department of Fish and Wildlife drop the hammer on them.

CDFW wildlife officers kept their eye on the men for a year and made contact with them on various occasions throughout California's Central Valley. Since the men were constantly in possession of undersize and over-the-limit striped bass, officials became suspicious that the men were selling the fish on the black market.

Assistant Chief John Baker, Central Enforcement District, Fresno said,

"The cases are a result of wildlife officers' recognition of each independent poaching offense for the egregious offenses they were as a whole. From there it was good old-fashioned investigative work."

Now the CDFW has lowered the boom on the three men and they can never legally fish in the state again.

Kue Her, 36, Leepo Her, 33, and Michael Vang, 31, all pled guilty to charges of illegally poaching wildlife (fish) for profit. The CDFG News said it best:

"Kue Her was sentenced to 52 days in county jail and four years probation, with a court-ordered lifetime fishing license revocation. Leepo Her was sentenced to serve nine days in county jail, four years probation and a $1,050 fine, with a court-ordered lifetime fishing license revocation. Vang was sentenced to one day in county jail, six hours community service, four years probation and a $1,050 fine, with a court-ordered lifetime fishing license revocation."

Even at that, some might feel their sentences seem a bit light, but at least the three poachers can never legally fish in California again.

Evidence was obtained that these same men were found to have made thousands from selling striped bass and other species. Search warrants served by wildlife officers in 2016 even found crappie and bluegill living in aquariums and evidence of methamphetamine and methamphetamine sales.

The bottom line is that these persons are now out of the business of fish poaching. The CDFW encourages the fishing, hunting, and outdoor public to identify poachers and even polluters by calling the confidential CalTIP info line at (888) 334-2258. Text messages can even be sent to 847411 (tip411) preceded by the word "CALTIP"