The Maine Marine Patrol has reported Duston Reed, a 34-year-old lobsterman from Waldoboro, has been arrested after a seven-month investigation and charged with fishing lobster traps that were not marked with a buoy, fishing untagged lobster traps, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with a witness.

The two fishing-related charges carry potential fines totaling $2,500. The charge of falsifying physical evidence, a Class D crime, is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. The charge of tampering with a witness, a Class C crime, is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Reed also faces suspension of his lobster, commercial fishing and scallop licenses.

A total of 40 unmarked, untagged traps were recovered by Marine Patrol Officers after an investigation determined where they were located. “This was a thorough investigation that resulted in charges for significant violations of Maine’s marine resource laws,” said Marine Patrol Col. Jon Cornish.

“Marking lobster traps with buoys and tags allows Marine Patrol to identify the harvester associated with the traps and to ensure compliance with our important resource laws, which are designed to sustain Maine’s valuable fisheries,” said Cornish.

The falsifying physical evidence and witness tampering charges stem from the Marine Patrol investigation which revealed that Reed instructed his sternman, Jeremy Yeaton, of Friendship, to remove marine navigation electronics used to navigate and locate fishing gear.

Yeaton has also been arrested and charged with falsification of physical evidence related to removing electronics from Reed’s fishing vessel, Outer Limits. He faces 364 days in jail and $2,000 in fines for the violation.

Reed was arrested Aug. 18 and taken to Lincoln County jail. Yeaton was arrested Aug. 28 and also taken to Lincoln County Jail.

“This was an extensive investigation that involved a great deal of detective work by Marine Patrol Officers,” said Maine DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “Violations of this magnitude that show a clear intent to conceal illegal activity and to disregard our important resource laws will be taken very seriously.”