YORK — A Maine man is facing charges of allegedly being in illegal possession of more than $20,000 worth of baby eels, known as elvers.

Officials say 36-year-old Dale Boyington, of Rockland, was cited last week after Marine Patrol officers conducting surveillance saw him pass through the York toll plaza on the Maine Turnpike.

Boyington was pulled over in Kennebunk and charged with possession of elvers without a Maine license for allegedly having 11 pounds of the eels, worth $22,100. The Department of Marine Resources says Boyington was traveling in a U-Haul van loaded with equipment for harvesting and transporting elvers.

With elvers selling for $2,000 or more per pound, officials say there’s been a lot of illegal activity with people wanting to cash in.