PORTLAND (AP) — New York Department of Environmental Conservation officers have arrested a former Passamaquoddy tribal representative to Maine’s Legislature and seven other people on charges of illegally harvesting baby eels from a creek on Long Island’s East End.

Frederick J. Moore III, of Perry, and others surrendered April 8. Authorities charged them with lacking a foodfish permit, over the limit possession of American eels, and over the limit possession of undersized eels, all felonies.

DEC officers observed the men illegally harvesting a “large amount” of elvers on March 28, a DEC spokeswoman said. The charges are felonies because the value of the catch was more than $1,500, she said. The DEC also charged the men with conspiracy to commit a crime, a misdemeanor, and using an illegal eel trap, a violation.

Moore told The Associated Press that he was working with a local Native American tribe to help establish an eel management and restoration plan. He said the men did nothing wrong.

Attempts to reach representatives for the Passamaquoddy tribe were not successful.

The other men arrested are Wallace Wilson of Mastic, N.Y., Michael Cardoze of Brooklyn, N.Y., Gordell Wright of Southampton, N.Y., Daniel Patrick White of Akwesane, N.Y., Kyle Lewey and Frederick J. Moore IV of Perry, and Ginew Benton of Hope Valley, R.I. They are due in court June 25 in Central, Islip, N.Y.

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