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NRP Wins Conservation, Boating Court Cases

The Maryland Natural Resources Police gained convictions last week on seven men charged with conservation and boating crimes.

Anne Arundel County ─ A district court judge suspended a Pasadena man’s hunting privileges for two years and ordered him to forfeit five firearms Friday after finding him guilty of illegal deer hunting.

Acting on tips, NRP caught John Bennett Poe, 71, on Nov. 28 ─ two days before the beginning of firearms season ─ shining a spotlight from his pick-up truck into a wooded and overgrown area off Stahl Point Road in Curtis Bay.

Officers stopped the truck and seized two shotguns, an M15 semi-automatic rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a .22-caliber pistol. They also found several open bags of corn in the truck bed.

District Judge Robert Wilcox turned the firearms over to NRP.

Anne Arundel County ─ An Edgewater man was sentenced to serve six months in jail Friday for refusing to remove an abandoned and sunken boat on Mill Creek in Annapolis.

David Leon Collins, 53, acknowledged that he owns the boat, which has been anchored without permission at a private pier on Forest Beach Road since at least May 2013. Records show Collins has owned the vessel since 2006.

NRP officers said the 26-foot cabin cruiser, settled in about 10 feet of water, presents a “potential health or environmental hazard” and needs to be removed.

District Judge Robert Wilcox said he would release Collins when he proved he was ready to remedy the problem.

Dorchester County ─ Five men were found guilty last Wednesday in Dorchester District Court of poaching 191 striped bass from the Fishing Creek Bridge.

NRP officers conducting overnight surveillance on May 30 caught the men exceeding the daily catch limit, keeping undersized striped bass, catching striped bass in a restricted area, and possession of striped bass while fishing between midnight and 5 a.m.

All five men pleaded guilty to exceeding the daily catch limit.

Ricardo Alvarado, 41, of Washington D.C. received a one-year suspension of fishing privileges and a $1,200 fine, plus court costs. Alvarado was already serving a six-month suspension for striped bass violations, set to expire on July 30.

The four other men were fined $600 each, plus court costs: Oscar Salmeron Reyes, 29, of Silver Spring; Eliseo Pineda, 52, of Silver Spring; Jose Velasquez Ventura, 48, of Washington; and Ramiro Garibay, 32, of Washington.

Dorchester County ─ Roy W. Meredith Jr. 45, of Toddville, was found guilty last Wednesday on five oyster poaching charges stemming from an incident on March 14.

An officer conducting surveillance on Fishing Bay caught Meredith power dredging in a hand tonging area, power dredging outside the power-dredging zone and two charges of possession of undersized oysters.

A district judge found Meredith guilty on all counts and assessed fines and court costs totaling $3,422.