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NRP Blotter

Natural Resources Police LogoThe Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged men in Allegany and Garrett counties with various violations.

Allegany County ─ Acting on a tip, NRP officers on Sunday charged a Frostburg man with unlawful possession of wildlife after they found a timber rattlesnake inside his home.

Dale Allen Spears, 53, admitted that he caught the rattlesnake about four years ago in the woods and kept it. A biologist from DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service removed the snake from the home.

Spears is scheduled to appear in Allegany District Court on January 16.

Allegany County ─Officers charged an Allegany County man Thursday with illegally operating a tree service that caused $500 in damage to a utility transformer.

Michael Anthony Bowman, 34, of Frostburg, received citations for removing a tree without a permit and soliciting business as a tree expert without a license. He also was cited for operating a tree expert business without a license—an offense for which he has been found guilty on three other occasions in the past two years.

A representative of Potomac Edison notified NRP on Sept. 17 that Bowman’s illegal tree pruning caused a large tree branch to fall on an electrical wire along West College Avenue in Frostburg that blew out a nearby transformer. The repair cost $500.

An investigation revealed that Bowman had a $1,000 contract with a homeowner to cut down a 40-foot-tall maple tree near the street. The contract lacked a Maryland tree expert license number.

The homeowner told the officer that Bowman recommended the removal and asked for $500 upfront. The homeowner was unaware that Bowman was unlicensed.

NRP has asked the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office to charge Bowman as a repeat offender.

Garrett County ─ NRP cited a Garrett County man Wednesday for illegally hunting turkey.

An officer on patrol near the power lines on Deer Ridge Road, Northwest, encountered a hunter using a gun with 00 buckshot.

Richard Eugene Shaffer, 59, of Grantsville, was charged with hunting turkey out of season, a violation that carries a $450 fine, and received a warning for hunting turkey with illegal ammunition.