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Natural Resources Police Handle Poaching Cases

Natural Resources Police Ticket BookDeer and striped bass poaching cases on the Eastern Shore and a crabbing case in St. Mary’s County were among the incidents handled last week by Maryland Natural Resources Police officers.

Officers on surveillance in Dorchester County Saturday night charged four men with poaching striped bass after they seized 33 fish, 32 of which were undersized.

An officer on land saw a small, unlighted boat under Ferry Bridge at the Honga River shortly before midnight and called for a patrol boat. As officers intercepted the recreational boat, one of the anglers threw a bag of striped bass overboard.

Carlos M. Ramos, 43, of Lanham, Jose E. Escobar, 35, of Bowie, Jose Hilano Pereira, 44, of Adelphi, and Pedro Salgado Carranza Enrique, 30, of Alexandria, Virginia, received citations for keeping too many fish and keeping undersized fish. Ramos received a citation for failing to have navigational lights and Escobar received a citation for littering.

The four men are due in Dorchester County District Court Dec. 21. If found guilty of the poaching charges, each man could be fined a maximum of $3,500.

Officers checking the Talbot County side of Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park Friday night charged two people with poaching striped bass.

Mario Gomez Mata, 48, and Margarita Perea DeVargas, 62, both of Hyattsville, each received citations for having 13 undersized striped bass, the largest of which was 9 ½-inches long.

The two are scheduled to appear in Talbot County District Court Jan. 19. If found guilty, they could be fined as much as $1,500.

Acting on tips, officers arrested a St. Mary’s County man Thursday and charged him with four counts of illegal crabbing.

An investigation found that Bruce Edward Chainay, 62, of California, was harvesting crabs from crab pots in an area of Smith Creek restricted to trotlines and hand lines. Officers saw his boat, but it disappeared around a bend in Jutland Creek.

While checking recreational crabbers at Seaside View Campground on Jutland Creek, officers found 61 mature female crabs in a cooler. People told officers that about 10 minutes before their arrival, a man drove up and sold them the crabs. Chainay’s boat—seen earlier in Smith Creek—his distinctive crab basket and multiple crab pots were located at a campsite.

He was charged with failing to have a tidal fish license for commercial activity, failing to have a commercial crabbing license, keeping female crabs recreationally during a closed season, and setting and harvesting from crab pots in restricted waters.

Chainay is scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s County District Court Nov. 3. The maximum penalty for the four charges is $4,000.

Three men were charged Tuesday with 23 counts of wildlife violations after an investigation indicated they illegally hunted deer over a two-year period.

Dustin Walter LeCates, 24, and Mark Wayne Fletcher Jr., 22, both of Salisbury, and Christopher David Causey, 29, of Eden, are scheduled to appear in Wicomico County District Court Dec. 6 to face charges that carry a maximum fine of $12,000.

Acting on a tip, officers found that LeCates and Causey shot a white-tailed buck during bow season in 2014, counting down and shooting at the same time. LeCates had already checked in a nine-point buck that season and did not have an antlered bonus stamp.

The investigation further found that all three men were hunting on state land in Dorchester County in December 2015 and did not check in the four does they killed.