​FROM:Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney  CONTACT PERSON:
Bud Porter, Deputy District Attorney
Environmental Protection Unit
(408) 792-2962   For Immediate Release on August 6, 2002     ABALONE CRIMES AT SAN JOSE RESTAURANT
  Two family members who own and manage a Vietnamese restaurant in San Jose were convicted yesterday in Santa Clara County Superior Court of buying abalone from an undercover Fish and Game Warden. Judge Brian C. Walsh sentenced the defendants, Duc Huynh, 32, and Nhan Huynh, 46, to three years probation and ordered the brother-sister pair to pay $95,000 in fines. As a further consequence of the conviction, abalone must be removed from the menu at their restaurant, Vung Tau, and not sold there in any form.   The case was investigated by the Department of Fish and Game, which was tipped off by a poacher to the popular restaurant on East Santa Clara Street. The illegal purchase of abalone by restaurants in Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose creates a black market that encourages divers to become poachers charging $50 for each abalone. Farm-raised abalone, which is legally sold, comes dried or in a can. Abalone is on the decline because of poaching and disease. A Fish and Game Code law passed two years ago punishes the buying or selling of sport-caught abalone by a minimum fine of $15,000 and up to one year in county jail.

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