LI fisherman indicted in connection with illegal fluke harvest

An East Northport commercial fisherman who was once an outspoken critic of federal regulators was indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and falsification of federal records in connection with illegally harvest more than $400,000 worth of fluke, authorities said. A federal grand jury returned the indictment against Thomas Kokell, a North Shore clammer who once operated a commercial trawler at Point Lookout. Prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Crimes section charged Kokell was involved in a scheme to cover up the illegal harvest of 196,000 pounds of fluke by falsifying dozens of fishing trip and dealer reports, which are required as part of commercial fishing regulations. The case against Kokell was investigated by agents of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Read the rest here 09:39