Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have arrested three San Francisco men for combined possession of 59 illegally harvested abalone. The suspects, Jin He Li, 35; Wei Q Wu, 27; and Jinfu Wu, 43, all of San Francisco, were booked into Mendocino County jail in Ukiah.
On Nov. 5, wildlife officers observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone. The officers observed the suspected poachers make multiple trips into the water and appear to hide illegally harvested abalone on the shore. The officers allowed them to gather their catch and leave the scene.
Officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone.
Wildlife officers seized all 59 abalone, the van and dive gear as evidence. The suspects had removed all abalone from their shells which is an additional violation.
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095