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King County Prosecutor
Dan Satterberg


Guilty Plea in Illegal Harvesting of Shellfish

Summary

State v. Rodney Allan Clark

Story

Guilty Plea in Illegal Harvesting of Shellfish: The former owner of a Western Washington shellfish company has pled guilty to 17 counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property in the First Degree and one count of Reckless Endangerment for selling uncertified shellfish for public consumption. Former owner of G & R Quality Seafoods, Rodney Allan Clark, along with several of his employees, illegally harvested over $700,000 worth of oysters and clams from beaches that were owned by the State of Washington or private individuals.

Clark directed his employees to secretly harvest oysters and clams at night from isolated beaches in Jefferson and Kitsap Counties. The stolen shellfish was then trafficked into the Seattle area and other parts of Western Washington and sold at a profit to restaurants, fish markets and seafood wholesalers. G & R Seafoods, which is no longer in business, concealed the enterprise from the State Department of Health, which requires that shellfish harvesting sites are certified and that the product is documented and handled appropriately to eliminate public health risks.

Eight co-defendants charged with Unlawful Trafficking in Shellfish pled guilty to misdemeanor fishing violations and have been sentenced. Charges were dismissed against two other defendants and one defendant remains on warrant status. Clark, 50, will face a sentence range of 63 to 84 months in prison when he’s sentenced on February 6 at 1 p.m. before Judge John Chun in courtroom W-921 of the King County Courthouse. The case was handled by Senior Deputy Prosecutors Amanda Froh and Patrick Hinds and was investigated by Detectives Paul Buerger and Brad Rhoden of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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