CREW MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACRY CHARGE

A former crew member of the fishing boat Alexander II admitted Monday that he participated in a plot to sink the ship off the coast of Cape May in August 2009 in exchange for payment, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Erik James, 40, of Goshen, N.J., pleaded guilty to a superseding Information charging him with conspiracy to destroy the Alexander II on the high seas. James entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court.

The owner of the boat, Scott Tran, 38, of Cherry Hill, pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, 2011, to an Indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to destroy a vessel on the high seas, admitting that he did so in order to collect $400,000 from the company that insured the boat. Tran’s right-hand man, Manh Nguyen, 58, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty the same day to a superseding Information charging him with a similar conspiracy offense. Crew member Christopher Martin, 40, of Wildwood, N.J., pleaded guilty to a superseding Information charging him with the conspiracy on Nov. 14, 2011.

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