- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. (AP) - State Fish and Game officials say a Newbury man has been accused of poaching eels in the Hampton Falls River.

Twenty-seven-year-old Drew Hankins was arraigned Monday on six counts of taking American eels less than 9 inches in length, possession of a controlled substance and other offenses.

Authorities say Hankins was caught Friday by a Fish and Game surveillance team with help from state police. The department’s law enforcement division monitors freshwater sites this time of year when eels travel from saltwater bodies.

Lt. Michael Eastman says eels can be sold for approximately $2,500 a pound in Asian markets.

A search of Hankins’ vehicle allegedly found poaching equipment, methamphetamines and cash. He was previously convicted of illegally taking American eels in 2014.

A message was left for Hankins’ lawyer.

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