Tag Archives: LARRIN BREITSPRECHER

Westport Commercial Crabber Fined $5,000 For Stealing Others’ Pots

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

A Grays Harbor County judge has sentenced a commercial crab fisherman to 90 days of electronic home monitoring and fined him $5,000 for stealing crab pots offshore of Westport, concluding a case that began with an investigation last year by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Larrin Breitsprecher, 57, of Westport, was sentenced Dec. 1 by Grays Harbor County Superior Court Judge Mark McCauley after a jury found him guilty of possessing stolen property and related charges. Beginning May 1, Breitsprecher will be required to remain at home for three months unless he requires medical attention.

WITH STOLEN CRAB POTS PILED AS EVIDENCE IN THE CORNER OF A COURTROOM, GRAYS HARBOR DEPUTY PROSECUTOR RANDY TRICK (LEFT, BACKGROUND) CONFERS WITH ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT LARRIN BREITSPRECHER, WHO WAS ON TRIAL FOR STEALING CRAB POTS. IN THE FOREGROUND, WDFW FISH AND WILDLIFE OFFICER ED WELTER STANDS BY. (WDFW)

WDFW Police Captain Dan Chadwick said the department began its investigation after a deckhand on Breitsprecher’s crab boat told officers that his boss directed him to steal crab pots while fishing near Westport.

After obtaining a search warrant, police officers from WDFW and the Quinault Indian Nation seized 32 commercial crab pots from Breitsprecher’s gear stack at the Port of Westport and determined that at least 24 of them belonged to other crabbers, Chadwick said.

OFFICER WELTER POSES WITH COMMERCIAL CRAB POTS HAULED INTO A GRAYS HARBOR COURTROOM. (WDFW)

“A commercial crab pot fully rigged can run $200 to $250, so the loss of multiple pots can really add up,” he said. “We appreciate that the Grays Harbor prosecutor’s office pursued this case, because it demonstrates that the law extends to ocean waters.” Chadwick said the department also appreciated the assistance of the Quinault tribal police.

WDFW currently licenses 223 coastal crab vessels, which landed 16.4 million pounds of Dungeness crab with a dockside value of $52 million during the 2016-17 season.

Editor’s note: This WDFW press release has been updated with the correct spelling of the defendant’s last name. It is Breitsprecher, not Brietsprecher as originally reported by the agency.