According to Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols, Brian Tarbox, 52, of Spruce Head has been charged by Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Bezio with fishing 156 lobster traps more than he was authorized to fish.

Fishing traps in excess of the authorized limit is a civil violation that carries a potential fine of between $100 and $500. Tarbox has also been charged with fishing lobster traps that contain tags not registered to his vessel, also a civil violation with a potential for a minimum $100 fine. Tags, which are affixed to each trap, are marked with information that identifies the harvester licensed to fish the trap.

In addition to the fines, Tarbox faces the possibility of a suspension of his lobster license.

The investigation involved four patrol boats and the following Marine Patrol personnel: Bezio, Sgt. Matt Talbot, Officer Johnathan Luellen, Specialist Corrie Roberts, Officer Wesley Dean, Officer Matthew Wyman, Lt. Daniel White, Specialist Matthew Sinclair, Sgt. Robert Beal, Officer Joel Tourtelotte, Specialist Michael Neelon, Officer Christopher Hilton and Officer Rebecca Kavanaugh.

The violation was uncovered by Bezio during a routine patrol in October. Bezio inspected Tarbox’s traps and discovered that they included tags that belonged to another license holder, Eric Caswell, 25, of Lewiston. The discovery of another harvester’s tags on Tarbox’s traps led Marine Patrol to haul all of his traps and determine that he was fishing 156 traps in excess of his allotted 800.

Also charged as a result of the investigation was Tarbox’s son, Samuel, 23, of Spruce Head. Samuel Tarbox has been charged with fishing lobster traps that contain tags not registered to his vessel. In addition to the minimum $100 fine, he also faces the possibility of license suspension.

Caswell, who is Tarbox’s stepson, is not facing any charges as a result of the investigation.

Tarbox fishes in Wheeler’s Bay in lobster management zone D, which stretches from Cape Rozier to Pemaquid Point, and is authorized to fish 800 traps, according to DMR.