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Natural Resources Police Handle Illegal Hunting and Poaching Cases

Illegal hunting and striped bass poaching cases highlighted enforcement actions taken recently by the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

satterfield-area-4-jacklightingA Charles County man and a juvenile were charged Friday night with illegal deer hunting after a resident reported hearing shots near his home.

Officers from several agencies searched a neighborhood near Allens Fresh Road before stopping a pick-up truck driven by James Jacob Clement, 19, of LaPlata. Clement and his passenger told officers that they saw a large white-tailed buck in a privately owned field. After stopping, the juvenile shined a flashlight on the deer while Clement reached for a loaded shotgun and fired through the passenger-side window.

The two drove away and then returned in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the deer. While trying to leave, they were stopped for speeding by a Charles County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who saw the shotgun, ammunition and a flashlight and called for a Natural Resources Police officer who was still searching the area.

Clement was charged with hunting with lights (jacklighting), hunting deer at night, hunting deer during a closed season, hunting from a vehicle, having a loaded weapon in a vehicle and shooting from/across a roadway. He received written warnings for hunting without a license, hunting without written permission, negligent hunting, hunting in a safety zone and failing to wear fluorescent orange. Officers seized the shotgun, ammunition and flashlight.

Clement is due in Charles County District Court Dec. 21. The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents and his case will be turned over to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services for review.

A Montgomery County man was charged with white-tailed deer poaching Thursday night after an officer found him and two companions butchering two deer outside a house.

Brandon Lee Bruno, 20, of Germantown, was charged with two counts of possession of untagged deer parts, one count of removing the head and hide of a deer before check in, and one count of possessing deer without visible evidence of a collision.

Bruno told the officer that his two friends from Pennsylvania picked up the deer as roadkill and brought the carcasses to him to butcher. The officer did not notice any signs on the carcasses of a collision, but did see gunshot wounds in one of the animal’s necks. The officer seized the head of a nine-point buck and an eight-point buck, a deer carcass and five plastic bags filled with butchered deer meat.

Bruno has not been scheduled yet for trial in Montgomery County District Court. If found guilty of all charges, he could be fined as much as $1,140.

Acting on tips from the public, officers conducted a plainclothes operation Saturday night at the U.S. Route 50 Bridge in Ocean City and issued 14 citations to four Virginia men for possession of undersized striped bass, exceeding the daily catch limit of striped bass and possession of undersized red drum.

The following men were charged: Humberto Oscar Alfaro Ventura, 43, of Woodbridge Va.; Cesar Isair Callejas Melendez, 19, of Manassas Va.; Cruz Emilio Umena Chinchalla, 43, of Manassas Va.; and Antonio Leonel Ramirez Riyan, 31, of Herndon Va.

Court dates are scheduled for January in Worcester County District Court, with fines totaling more than $2,200. Officers seized 27 striped bass and two red drum. All fish were donated to local shelters.

In Dorchester County, officers charged a Prince George’s County man Friday night with poaching striped bass near the Fishing Creek Bridge.

Guadalupe Zelaya Garcia, 33, of Hyattsville, was stopped as he drove away from the bridge and officers found 18 undersized striped bass in his car.

Garcia was charged with exceeding the daily catch limit, possession of undersized striped bass and failing to have a fishing license. The charges require him to appear in Dorchester County District Court. If found guilty of all charges Jan. 18, Garcia could be fined as much as $3,000.