By Jason Schreiber
Two brothers from Maine, suspected of poaching baby eels to sell for big money overseas, were arrested Friday morning after allegedly trying to slip away when authorities moved in to catch them.
Matthew Kinney, 29, of Bremen, and his brother, Justin, 35, of Mount Vernon, face several charges after they were scooped up by authorities following a land and air search that lasted nearly four hours.
Fish and Game Lt. Michael Eastman said authorities received a tip early Friday morning that two men were catching baby American eels in the Hampton River near Route 1.
Eastman said two conservation officers responded to the area shortly before 5 a.m. and found that the brothers had a "substantial amount" of young eels, which are illegal to harvest in New Hampshire.
When one of the officers attempted to arrest Matthew Kinney, Eastman said, Kinney assaulted the officer, was pepper-sprayed, and then fell into the river and later fled into the woods with a handcuff on one of his wrists. Justin Kinney ran into the marsh grass and was arrested a short time later.
Eastman did not identify the conservation officer who was assaulted, but he said the officer wasn't injured.
Police from Kensington, Hampton Falls and Seabrook, along with Fish and Game officers, New Hampshire State Police, Fish and Game and search dogs and a helicopter, assisted in the hunt for Matthew Kinney. More....