The Wire: Catskills edition

Four cops on a stakeout. Six suspects making a drop at a hidden stash. Eleven female victims.

Egg-laden female walleye victims, that is. The sordid tale of a big bust of poachers after spawning walleye unrolls like an episode of The Wire in Dick Nelson's Daily Mail sports column today:

Acting on a tip from a concerned fisherman, Environmental Conservation Officer Anthony Glorioso positioned himself far enough away from the poachers as so not to be seen, but close enough where he could move in quickly to make an arrest.

For nearly two hours — most of which was spent lying on his stomach — Glorioso observed the six outlaws snag the walleyes, which were then trucked and placed in a cooler some four miles away off 9W.

After advising his superior of the situation, it didn’t take long for Lt. Kevin Beiter to get involved in the stakeout. At some point, NYS Troopers Jon Quinn and Paul Rosenblatt also got involved, and with four lawmen now laying in wait, it was only a matter of time before the thieves would unknowingly be apprehended. And make no mistake about it, anyone who takes fish and/or game illegally is a thief.

The surveillance came to an end as one of the bandits — who was attempting his last run back to the vehicle with an illegal walleye — was met there by officers. He, along with the others were then rounded up by the ECOs while troopers Quinn and Rosenblatt went to the stash location and returned with the cooler.

As it turned out, the six individuals, Selkirk residents Brian Filkins, 30; Keith Manganaro, 35; and Todd Wickham, 31; Mark LaFave, 42, of Glenmont; Joseph Reilly, 41, of Mechanicville; and John Jenkins, 41, of Ballston Lake, had 11 walleye in their possession, most of which were egg-laden females, and all exceeding 11 pounds.

Bravo to Nelson for writing the hell out of it.

Photo of walleye from Wikimedia Commons.