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West Virginia Volunteer Firefighter Convicted of Setting Fires

Photo of Brian Chad Twigg

Brian Chad Twigg

A West Virginia man was convicted Tuesday in Allegany County Circuit Court of setting three fires earlier this year that damaged 57 acres in Green Ridge State Forest.

Brian Chad Twigg, 20, of Paw Paw, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree malicious burning, a felony. He was sentenced to four years in prison, with all but six months suspended, and placed on supervised probation for five years. Twigg also was ordered to pay $13,814 in restitution.

Maryland Natural Resources Police investigators determined that a fire March 23 near Malcolm Road and fires April 3 and April 4 near Kirk Road were intentionally set. Evidence and tips led back to Twigg, a volunteer firefighter, who was arrested April 24.

In addition to the counts of malicious burning, Twigg was charged with malicious destruction of property and maliciously setting fires. The nine charges carried a maximum prison sentence of 39 years and a fine of up to $28,500. The misdemeanor charges were dropped when Twigg pleaded guilty.

Officers charged a Cecil County man with illegal waterfowl hunting Dec. 21 after they found him in a field that had been baited with corn.

Trent Eugene Arledge, 47, of North East, received citations for hunting waterfowl in a baited field, and aiding and abetting hunting over bait.

Officers on patrol around 8:45 a.m. were checking a farm near the intersection of Post and Harrington roads in Rising Sun, where they suspected illegal baiting was happening. They found Arledge and two guests at the edge of a pond where they had placed decoys.

The officers found a large amount of shelled corn in the area, which Arledge acknowledged he placed there between the legal waterfowl hunting seasons.

He is scheduled to appear in Cecil County District Court Feb. 7. The maximum fine for each charge is $1,500.

Four men and two juveniles were charged Monday with multiple hunting violations after an incident in Garrett County earlier this month.

Officers began surveillance after receiving a complaint Dec. 9, the last day of the deer firearms season, about suspected illegal activity on private coal mine property off Sharpless Mine Road in Swanton. The investigation yielded descriptions of the vehicles, suspects and approximate hunting locations.

That evening, three hunters, possessing four shot does, were apprehended on the property. The hunters gave different accounts of the deer harvest before acknowledging they made multiple false entries using the Department of Natural Resources identification numbers of out-of-state residents, exceeding the bag limit of does and safety violations involving the juveniles.

John William Lytle, 38, of Westernport, was charged with two counts of entering false information when reporting a deer harvest. He received written warnings for failing to field tag a deer and failing to record the kill on his state harvest record.

Bryan Keith Rhodes, 22, of Keyser, West Virginia, was charged with failing to report a deer harvest and giving a false statement to obtain hunting license. He received written warnings for failing record a kill on his state harvest record and failing to report a kill within 24 hours.

Ronald Eugene Davis Jr., 24, of Westernport, was charged criminally with possessing a rifle in violation of his 2012 sentence for resisting arrest in Allegany County. He also was charged with having a loaded weapon in a vehicle and failing to attach a field tag before removing from place of kill. He received a written warning for failing to record a kill on harvest record.

Later, Richard Dale Lytle Sr., 63, of Westernport, was charged with making a false entry and/or false statement when tagging and/or recording information on his harvest record.

Officers seized Davis’s rifle. The four does were donated to a local needy family.

Charges against the two, 17 year olds were referred to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Three of the men are scheduled to appear in Garrett County District Court Feb. 22. Davis will have a separate hearing at another time.

An Allegany County man hoping to quickly harvest a deer Dec. 9 bagged three citations instead when he shot a police decoy.

Darrell Lynn Youngblood, 58, of Cumberland, was charged with shooting across a road, having a loaded weapon in a vehicle and hunting without written permission.

Officers on an anti-poaching patrol near Oldtown shortly before 11 a.m. watched a truck pass the decoy set up on marked private property and then slam on the brakes. Youngblood got out from the passenger side armed with a rifle. He fired three times from the roadway, striking the decoy.

Youngblood told the officers that he was hoping to successfully wrap up his hunting early on the final day of firearms season by shooting the deer even though it was on private property.

A trial date in Allegany County District Court has not been set.

An officer on patrol in Garrett County arrested two Swanton men for illegal hunting after he watched them using a spotlight in a vehicle to illuminate the woods.

Daniel Allen Wimer, 27, was charged Dec. 9 with hunting deer during a closed season, hunting at night, casting of rays (jacklighting), possession of marijuana, driving without a license, driving with a revoked out-of-state license, and two counts of driving while impaired.

A passenger, John Anthony Shaffer, 29, was charged with hunting deer in a closed season, hunting at night and casting rays (spotlighting).

When the officer stopped the vehicle on Route 135 at about 7:45 p.m., he saw Shaffer was holding a 0.30-.30-caliber rifle with a spotlight tucked under his legs. A second 0.30-06-caliber rifle was in the rear passenger area.

Field sobriety tests indicated Wimer was impaired. An evaluation by Maryland State Police found him to be under the influence of drugs.