PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine man will serve two years of probation and pay a $5,000 fine for the role he played in a baby eel trafficking scheme.

The Bangor Daily News reports 49-year-old Scott Willey was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland after pleading guilty in June. He was charged with illegally harvesting baby eels in Virginia and South Carolina and selling them to a Maine dealer.

Harvesting baby eels, which are called elvers, is only legal in Maine and one river in South Carolina. Authorities say Willey poached nearly 29 pounds of elvers worth more than $58,000.

Elvers are sold to Asian aquaculture companies and raised for food. By weight they are one of the most valuable aquatic species in America.

Willey did not return a call seeking comment.


Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.