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Police K-9 Unit Tracks Down Trespassing Hunter in Kent County

Photo of Natural Resources Police K-9 Beacon

K-9 Officer Beacon

A Maryland Natural Resources Police K-9 unit tracked a trespassing Pennsylvania man from his truck to a tree stand on public land in Kent County, where he was charged with illegal hunting.

Kevin Lee King, 21, of Gordonville, received a citation Nov. 18 for hunting without written permission and was issued written warnings for failing to check in and field tag a deer, and record the kill on the Big Game Harvest Record.

Acting on complaints of illegal hunting off Turner’s Creek Road, K-9 Beacon followed the scent and led officers to several tree stands in Turner Creek Park, where King was hunting while being videotaped by another man.

King is scheduled to appear in Kent County District Court Jan. 17. The charge carries a maximum fine of $1,500.

A St. Mary’s County man has been charged with illegally selling oysters online and failing to pay the state fee assessed to all commercial harvesting operations.

Matthew Wayne Morgan, 36, of Mechanicsville, received citations Nov. 22 after an online investigation turned up ads on social media and websites offering oysters for sale. Under state law, an unlicensed person is allowed to harvest one bushel of oysters a day for personal consumption and may not list them for sale.

Morgan is scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s County District Court Feb. 18 on charges of failing to obtain a Tidal Fishing License and failing to pay the state oyster surcharge. Each violation carries a maximum fine of $1,000.

A waterman was charged with illegally harvesting oysters and ordered to return them to the area on the St. Mary’s River where they were removed.

Devin Ellis Benoit, 20, of Piney Point, was stopped by officers on routine patrol Nov. 17 as he returned to the dock after power dredging a bar. None of the 12 bushels aboard his vessel had been tagged, as required by law.

Officers measured two bushels and found they contained 15 and 21 percent undersized oysters, well above the 5 percent tolerance allowed under state law. Benoit was ordered to return to the oyster bar to measure the rest of his harvest and put the undersized oysters back in the water.

Benoit was charged with two counts of possessing unmeasured and undersized oysters and one count of failing to tag his oysters before leaving the bar. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000. He is scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s County District Court Feb. 1.

A St. Mary’s County man has been charged with multiple counts of illegal hunting after police investigated an incident in Charles County.

Russell Wayne Weekley, 56, of Mechanicsville, received citations Nov. 20 for hunting on private land without written permission, failing to produce a hunting license, failing to tag a deer, and removing the head, hide or body parts before check in.

An officer was alerted by an off-duty Charles County deputy sheriff of a trespassing and illegal hunting complaint on Piney Church Road. The officer approached Weekley, riding a bicycle, as he returned to his truck with hunting gear. Weekly acknowledged trespassing, but said he was scouting for deer, not hunting.

After Weekley left, the officer walked a mile-and-a-quarter stretch of the wood line and found four legs and two back straps freshly removed from a deer. A few hundred yards away, the officer found a bow and arrows, a backpack, a collapsible tree stand and a duffel bag stuffed with hunting clothes.

The officer contacted Weekley, who acknowledged the gear was his and that he intended to return for it and the deer meat.

Weekley is scheduled to appear in Charles County District Court Feb. 21. The maximum fine for each charge is $1,500.