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Commercial Skipper Pleads Guilty in Crab Pot Thefts Investigation
03/23/2009
Sergeant Todd Thompson
Oregon State Police - Newport
Fish and Wildlife Division
Office: (541) 265-5354 ext. 224

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
(Photo #1 left to right: Senior Trooper Urbigkeit, Sergeant Todd Thompson, Senior Trooper Mark Hathaway)
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A commercial skipper was sentenced Friday in Lincoln County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to 3 felony and two misdemeanor offenses related to an Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division investigation into thefts of crab pots. Sentencing included 120 days in jail, fines, restitution and probation.
 
In August 2008, OSP Senior Trooper Carla Urbigkeit was contacted by a Newport Bayfront commercial skipper reporting some of his commercial crab pots were being offloaded from a different vessel, the Blue Belle, bringing in pots at the close of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season. Subsequent investigation with the assistance of the Lincoln County District Attorney's Office led to the arrest of PERRY KANURY, age 23, from Toledo.
 
During the investigation, OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers seized 175 crab pots from KANURY's vessel and residence of which approximately 110 crab pots have been returned to their identified owners. A line coiler worth about $2,500 reported stolen three months earlier from a Newport fishing vessel, was also recovered. Approximately 610 pounds of wasted Dungeness crab was also found on the vessel.
 
With local fishermen in attendance during sentencing on Friday, March 20th, before Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Sheryl Bachart, KANURY pled guilty to:
  • One count class B felony of Aggravated Theft (commercial crab pots)
  • One count class C felony of Theft in the First Degree (commercial crab pots)
  • One count class C felony of Theft in the First Degree (Line Coiler)
  • One count class A misdemeanor of Theft in the Second Degree (commercial crab pots)
  • One count class A misdemeanor of Waste of Food Fish to wit: approximately 610 lbs. of Dungeness crab
 
Sentencing included:
  • 120 days in jail (KANURY was taken into custody at the end of the hearing to start serving his time)
  • Fines totaling $3,500
  • Restitution in the amount of $15,800 from which $5,000 will go toward reimbursement to the Oregon Crabbers Protection Organization which offers a $5,000 reward to individuals who turn in unlawful fishermen
  • Cost associated with the waste of Dungeness crab estimated between $1,200 and $1,800
  • Up to 5 years probation
 
Many of the fishermen present were given an opportunity to speak. Those that did speak reportedly made it clear that, on top of their gear that was stolen, they will never receive the thousands of dollars worth of wrongfully taken crab.
 
OSP Fish & Wildlife Division still has about 65 crab pots stored at the OSP Newport office while troopers continue to find their owners.
 
Questions for Lincoln County District Attorney's Office can be directed to Deputy D.A. Brian Gardner.