Police bust two men on charges related to large-scale illegal crabbing

GARIBALDI, Ore. - Oregon State Police arrested two men in Tillamook County following the seizure of 150 illegal crab pots.

Aron Steinbach, a 34-year-old from Bay City, and Thomas White, a 30-year-old from Nehalem, were both charged with multiple Class A misdemeanors.

Fish and Wildlife troopers began investigation in December when a mandatory hold inspection found the men's both, the Valkyrie, had deployed commercial crab pots without landing within 14 days as the law requires.

In February, they cited Steinbach for leaving gear more than 14 days without a landing, and White for not having commercial fishing license.

Troopers said they learned the men had malfunctioning crab pots in the water for long periods of time, potentially killing or harming crab.

Earlier this month, troopers teamed with the Coast Guard to begin seizing the Valkyrie's commercial gear from the ocean near Cape Falcon. More than 150 crab pots had various violations, troopers said.

Troopers said they also found crag gear with markings not from the Valkyrie, indicating it might have been stolen. If you've had your gear stolen, OSP will hold a viewing of the gear June 9 from 1-3 p.m. at its Tillamook office.