Dungeness crab ready to eat at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco (Public domain photo via Wikipedia)

LEAVENWORTH — A sometime commercial fisherman is charged with illegally trafficking crab meat and fishing violations after wildlife officers allegedly arranged an undercover swap of crab for elk meat.

Andrew Christopher Hoiland, 40, was charged by summons earlier this month after a 2018 investigation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in which agents seized 77 pounds of crab meat from Hoiland's Leavenworth home that they believe was illicitly harvested and traded without a proper license.

Officers said they noted Craigslist posts from Hoiland in April 2018 offering Dungeness crab for trade in exchange for wild game meat. A plainclothes Fish and Wildlife officer contacted Hoiland and allegedly gave him four pounds of elk meat, receiving five whole cooked and frozen Dungeness crab. 

Such trades or sale are illegal without licensing. Officers allegedly seized 77 pounds of crab from Hoiland's home in late April 2018, under a search warrant. Eight of the 17 whole crabs recovered were below the legal harvest size, according to court affidavits.

Hoiland was due to be arraigned Tuesday in Chelan County Superior Court on charges of first-degree unlawful trafficking in shellfish, a Class B felony, and violating commercial fishing area or time restrictions, a gross misdemeanor. The latter charge relates to the alleged harvest of crab that are under legal size.

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013

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