On August 8th, 2023

Abalone Poacher in Mendocino County Sentenced to Prison Investigated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Justice crime lab

“There’s no place like the coast of California which is filled with precious natural resources that we must take care of and protect. Thank you to our CDFW wardens for working to enforce the laws that are in place to preserve and protect our fish and wildlife and to our criminalists at California DOJ for processing and evaluating evidence.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

MENDOCINO COUNTY – On August 7, 2023, Leroy Nicholas Robles, Jr., 58, generally of Fort Bragg and Santa Barbara, was sentenced to 24 months in state prison for poaching abalone.

Robles, Jr. was convicted by felony plea to being involved last April in a criminal conspiracy to harvest and sell abalone on the black market. He also stood convicted of a separate and distinct abalone violation of the Fish and Game Code, as well as possession of fentanyl, both as misdemeanors occurring in March.

During March 2023 the defendant was caught with 31 abalone and over 15 grams of fentanyl. While released from custody on the March arrest, Robles, Jr.  was again arrested in April, along with his brother, with 15 more abalone.

Both men admitted harvesting abalone to sell on the black market for up to $40 apiece. Robles, Jr. admitted he had been poaching and selling abalone as his primary source of income since 2020. Robles, Jr. has an overall criminal record of six felony convictions, along with 11 misdemeanor convictions.

The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying the defendant’s most recent convictions were the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the Department of Justice crime laboratory.

The coastal prosecutor who charged and handled this case through conviction and sentencing was Senior Deputy District Attorney Eloise Kelsey.


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