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CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED IN DEATH OF MORE THAN 400 TERNS

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  • bigbirderscott
    News release this morning: Long Beach, April 19, 2007: Long Beach City Prosecutor Tom Reeves and representatives from the California Department of Fish and
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 19, 2007
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      News release this morning:

      Long Beach, April 19, 2007: Long Beach City Prosecutor Tom Reeves and
      representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game
      (DFG) announced
      criminal charges were filed against Point Loma Maritime Services,
      Inc. and three
      individuals, all allegedly involved in the death of more than 400
      terns. Deputy
      City Prosecutor John Fentis filed the case at the Long Beach
      Superior Court on
      Wednesday, April 18, 2007.

      "The alleged actions of the defendants contributed to the death of
      more than 400
      birds," said City Prosecutor Tom Reeves, who added that, "the
      charges reflect
      the significant impact these acts had on a vulnerable species."

      According to the California Department of Fish and Game, the death
      count
      amounted to the failure of one of the world's only nesting colonies
      for this
      species, virtually wiping out an entire generation of elegant terns.

      "The Department is gratified the City Prosecutor is moving this very
      important
      case forward," said DFG Director Ryan Broddrick. "In bringing
      charges against
      the responsible parties, the City of Long Beach underscores its
      understanding of
      the devastating impact of wildlife crimes and an appreciation for
      the excellent
      and complicated investigation undertaken by Fish and Game wardens
      and biologists
      who protect our state's natural resources."

      A lengthy investigation conducted by DFG determined that the terns
      drowned in
      June 2006 after two of the defendants boarded the barge on which the
      terns were
      located. Hundreds of dead terns washed ashore in the days following
      the
      incident. Point Loma Maritime Services, Inc., based out of San
      Diego and
      identified as the company that chartered the barge, and three of its
      representatives (Ralph Botticelli, 39, of San Diego; Alan Schlange,
      38, of Costa
      Mesa; and Scott Caslin, 32, of San Diego) were charged with seven
      misdemeanor
      counts for illegally removing, harassing and causing the death of
      the terns.
      They were also charged with destroying several nests.

      Bird well,

      Scott Huber
      Chico
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