By Tillie Fong
California game wardens arrested 13 suspects in Sacramento and the Bay Area early Thursday for reportedly catching wild abalone off the Northern California coast for the purpose of selling them.
Four of the suspects are from Sacramento: Dung Van Nguyen, 40, Hiep Ho, 46, Hung Van Le, 42, and Tho Than Phan, 59.
Seven were from Oakland: Chinh Quan Le, 60, Khoa Dang Nguyen, 40, Hung Ngoc Quoc Vo, 41, Toi Van Nguyen, 48, Hai Van Ha, 43, Duoc Van Nguyen, 48, and Nhan Trong Le, 46. The first four from Oakland had previous poaching convictions.
Two were from other areas: Andy Phan, 47, of Fairfield and Charlie Le, 55, of Alameda.
All were booked into various county jails. They face poaching, conspiracy and, for some of them, perjury charges.
It was not known how much of the shellfish were seized by game wardens Thursday.
"It's a significant case," said Warden Mark Michilizzi, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement.
"These individuals who take abalone illegally are taking away from other divers who lawfully harvest them, and it's making it hard for Fish and Wildlife to manage the (abalone) population." More....