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Fishing Boat Crew Members Sentenced For Sabotage Plot

Two crewmen who admitted planning the sinking of their fishing boat off Cape May for money in 2009 are given 30 months in prison apiece.

derekskey, Flickr

Erik James, 40, of Goshen, NJ, and Christopher Martin, 40, of Wildwood, NJ had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to destroy the Alexander II on the high seas. They were sentenced today in Camden by U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that the scheme was aimed at allowing boat owner Scott Tran, 38, of Cherry Hill, to collect $400,000 from his policy with State National Insurance Company.

Tran and Manh Nguyen, 38, of Philadelphia, recruited a captain to sink the vessel for payment, say prosecutors. James and Martin were among the crewmen hired.

The craft left Cape May August 2, 2009, say prosecutors, with sparse fuel, food, ice and other necessities for a long fishing trip. Investigators determined that the ship’s log entry indicating 50 fish caught, weighing about 3,000 pounds, was fabricated.

They attempted to sink the Alexander II about 86 miles off the coast, say prosecutors.

James and Martin are also required to serve three years supervised release and pay the U.S. Coast Guard $38,000 restitution.

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