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Police Cite One for Illegal Oystering; Catch Two Deer Poachers

Illegal oyster harvesting and deer poaching topped the list of cases handled recently by Maryland Natural Resources Police officers.

A St. Mary’s County man was charged Friday with multiple violations of regulations after he was seen harvesting oysters inside a sanctuary.

Officers on surveillance saw Steven Gary Adams, 68, of Drayden, hand tonging more than a mile inside the St. Mary’s River Oyster Sanctuary at 4:15 a.m.

When Adams returned to shore a short time later, officers stopped him. They found seven untagged plastic containers with unmeasured oysters behind a tree. The federal Food and Drug Administration requires tagging so that contaminated oysters can be tracked back to their point of origin and the area can be placed off limits.

Adams was issued citations for harvesting inside a sanctuary, possessing oysters outside legal hours, failing to tag the containers and operating without running lights. The oysters were returned to the sanctuary.

Court records show that since 2010, Adams has been convicted of five natural resources offenses involving illegal oyster and crab harvesting and fined $960.

Adams is scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s County District Court March 2. He must appear in court on the sanctuary violation, which carries a maximum fine of $3,000 and possible license suspension or revocation. The three other charges carry a total maximum fine of $2,500.

In Washington County, officers on patrol Friday saw a wounded eight-point buck in a field and a man in a pickup truck approaching it.

When they checked the state harvest record for Derwood Clayton Mose, 63, of Sharpsburg, they learned he already checked in a five-point buck and a nine point buck during firearms season.

Mose received citations for exceeding the bag limit for antlered deer and failing to have his hunting license with him. The deer was donated to a family in need.

He is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court March 18. If he pleads guilty before that date, he will be fined $750. If he challenges the charges in court and is found guilty, he could be fined a maximum of $3,000.

A Hagerstown man was charged with poaching Saturday after officers saw him at Prather’s Neck Wildlife Management Area.

Paul Thomas Twigg, 57, was poaching deer with a 20-gauge shotgun containing slug rounds when he was stopped. The region was closed to firearms on that date.

Twigg is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court March 8. He could be fined a maximum of $1,500.