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Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter
Maryland Residents Guilty of Federal Waterfowl Hunting Violations
During the Maryland 2007-2008 waterfowl season, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) investigated several Maryland residents on the Lower Eastern Shore for allegedly shooting waterfowl over a baited area in violation of both State and Federal waterfowl hunting regulations. NRP referred these investigations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement who issued Federal Violation Notices totaling $5,200 for the unlawful hunting method. The following charges are the direct result of joint investigations between the NRP and the USFWS.
Kevin P. Donalds, 37, and Gary R. Breeding, 58, of Eden along with James B. Barnes, 55, of Salisbury were charged with taking migratory game birds over an area baited with milo grain near Big Annemessex River in January, 2008 and each later paid a $525 fine.
Reuben D. Calder Jr., 26, of Mardela Springs was charged with shooting ducks over an area baited with barley grain in Wicomico County and later paid a fine of $525.
Ronald L. Hall Sr., 41, of Westover, and Phillip L. Labo III, 38, of Marion, were both found to have shot 22 teal ducks while hunting over an area baited with milo grains on Marumsco Creek in December of 2007. Both men were later charged by Federal Violation Notice for taking waterfowl over a baited area and aiding and abetting the taking of waterfowl over bait. Each man later paid a $1025 fine.
Also hunting over the same baited area was Ronald L. Hall Jr., 21, of Westover and Phillip L. Labo IV, 20, of Marion. They were each charged with taking waterfowl over a baited area and later paid fines of $525 each.
Fines, such as these, collected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are used to partially fund the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 which provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife.
"Hunting migratory waterfowl with the aid of bait has historically been, and continues to be, a deeply entrenched practice in the Chesapeake Bay region.” said Lt. Scott Richardson, NRP Area Commander for the Lower Eastern Shore. “The Maryland Natural Resources Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement will use all means available to put an end to this deplorable practice that jeopardizes our waterfowl populations for future generations."
Cecil County – On Monday, Sept. 1, the first day of the Maryland mourning dove season, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged Wayne Wallendorf, 60, of Millington for allegedly exceeding the daily bag limit of mourning dove on private property near Warwick.
Officers checked Wallendorf after observing him hunting and found him to in possession of 14 doves. The daily bag limit for mourning dove is 12. Wallendorf was issued a citation and released on his signature. The maximum penalty for a person found guilty of this offense is $1500 for a first time offender.
Frederick County – On Saturday, Aug. 30, at 5:30 p.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged two Frederick men with trout fishing violations on the Big Hunting Creek at Cunningham Falls State Park.
NRP charged Vidal W. Amaya, 26 and Jorge Armando Mureno Melendez, 30, both of Frederick for allegedly possessing trout in a catch and return fly fishing only area. NRP and a Maryland Park Service ranger were in the area investigating a complaint of individuals catching and keeping fish.
As the officer made contact with Amaya and Melendez, the ranger located two coolers hidden along the stream bank that contained 30 trout. Both individuals were charged with possession of trout in a special management area and released on their signatures. A court date of Oct. 7 has been scheduled for both men in Frederick County District Court.
Frederick County – On Thursday, Aug. 28, Christopher N. Swann, 28, of Thurmont was found guilty in Frederick County District Court of one count of abuse or neglect of animal.
The charges stemmed from an annual falconry permit inspection conducted by NRP at Swann’s residence in February. During the inspection, officers observed an injured American kestrel hawk that was not being provided sufficient care and facilities. The bird was seized and transported to a local veterinarian for medical care.
Swann was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation; pay $1448.47 in restitution for veterinarian services; 18 months revocation of his falconry permit and the hawk was forfeited to the State. The hawk remains at Wildlife Rescue Inc. and will likely not be able to be released to the wild.
Worcester County – On Thursday, August 28, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged a Virginia man with fishing violations in the Sinepuxent Bay near Assateague.
NRP charged Long Nguyen, 45, of Vienna, Virginia for allegedly possessing undersized black sea bass and undersized croaker. Officers boarded Nguyen’s vessel and inspected his catch after observing him fishing. Officers found 70 undersized black sea bass and three undersized croakers onboard. He was issued citations and released on his signature. A court date of Oct. 24 has been scheduled for Nguyen in Worcester County District Court.
September 5, 2008
Contact: Sgt. Ken Turner
410-260-8003 office I 443-534-5598 cell
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov