Sunken boat owner going to jail

Sunken boat owner going to jail
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday secured the first derelict vessel conviction in Benton County.

Brandon Traner, will serve 20 days in jail and pay restitution for abandoning a derelict fishing trawler in the Columbia River. Traner, owner of the M/V Forus, pleaded guilty to the two charged offenses: Abandoning a Derelict Vessel; and Discharge of Polluting Matters into State Waters.

Traner was sentenced to 20 days jail, $540 in fines and assessments, and two years on probation.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16, 2014, to determine the total amount to be repaid by Traner to the State of Washington.

“Derelict vessels cause substantial environmental damage and cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” Ferguson said. “This conviction sends a strong message: My office will track down environmental criminals and hold them accountable.”

The Attorney General’s Office worked closely with Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller on this case.