- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

STONINGTON, Maine (AP) - Two Maine lobstermen have been suspended for illegally catching and keeping egg-bearing lobsters.

The Department of Marine Resources says the two remove eggs from the lobsters, a crime that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and fines of more than $1,000.

The department says the licenses of 36-year-old Dexter Bray Jr. of Stonington and 42-year-old Philip Poland of Cushing were suspended for six years after separate investigations.

Maine prohibits catching egg-bearing female lobsters as part of the state’s conservation efforts.

Marine Patrol Col. Jon Cornish says scrubbing lobsters of eggs so the crustaceans can be sold is “one of the most serious violations we see.”

It was unclear if either man had an attorney.

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