An odd dispute involving Long Island Sound clams has resulted in a criminal trial and a civil lawsuit challenging the authority of state environmental police officers.

In December 2011, officers with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to a complaint made by Christopher Walston, who accused Nicholas Crismale and his boat, the Mighty Maxx, of trespassing on Walston’s leased shellfish beds. Crismale, who is president of the Lobsterman’s Association of Connecticut, claims he was merely turning his boat around. Walston, who used to work for Crismale, claims his former boss was illegally harvesting Walston’s clams. He reported Crismale to state authorities as well as the Guilford Fishing Commission.

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