A Down East Maine fisherman faces financial penalties and as much as a year in prison after being accused of dragging for scallops in an area with an underwater power cable that supplies electricity to the 330 year-round residents of Swan’s Island, a remote island community between Mount Desert Island and Stonington.

Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said Marine Patrol officers charged Lucas Lemoine, 33, of Swan’s Island with multiple violations, the most serious being dragging for scallops in a cable area – a crime that carries a minimum $500 fine and up to a year in prison. Lemoine also faces a one-year suspension of his scalloping license.

Sgt. Troy Dow of the Maine Marine Patrol said the dragging could have damaged the power cable. “This is the primary source of electricity for this island community,” he said. “It is a life line for those folks.”

Lemoine was also charged with dragging for scallops in a closed area, dragging for scallops at night, possession of undersized scallops, and operating without navigation lights.

Nichols said Marine Patrol Officers Jeff Turcotte and Brent Chasse and Specialist Sean Dow apprehended Lemoine near Lopaus Point, on the southwest side of Mount Desert Island near Tremont.

The officers saw Lemoine leaving Bass Harbor around 4 a.m. in his fishing vessel, Foxy Lady, with its navigation lights off. The officers said he began to drag for scallops across the power cables. That area has been closed to scalloping since Dec. 1.

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