A dockside oyster inspection in Dorchester County by NRP officers resulted in 37 citations being issued last Friday to a local seafood buyer and a seafood business.
Officers conducting a compliance check at the Wingate County Dock on March 25 measured oysters in two metal bins, one of which was already loaded in a box truck operated by Capt. Phips Seafood, a business based in Secretary. Of the 43 bushels inspected, 37 contained oysters ranging from eight percent to 49 percent below the 3-inch minimum size.
The buyer, Mary Catherine Sears, 33, of Wingate, received 19 citations for possessing undersized oysters and Capt. Phips Seafood was issued 18 citations for the same offense.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in Dorchester District Court on June 17. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000.
In Talbot County, NRP officers charged three men with killing three Sika deer out of season and other violations after a routine traffic stop.
Richard Wayne Lane Jr., 24, James Paul Higgins, 29, and Casey Mark Higgins, 28, all of Easton, were in a vehicle stopped by a Maryland State Police trooper on Feb. 27. The trooper radioed NRP officers for assistance, and a search of the vehicle found three deer carcasses without field tags and three small-caliber rifles. Sika deer season ended in January.
After an investigation of the circumstances, officers last Tuesday charged all three men with possessing deer out of season, failing to field tag deer and using an illegal firearm while hunting. Richard Lane Jr. also was charged with hunting from a vehicle. The rifles and deer were seized as evidence.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in Talbot District Court on May 21. If convicted of all charges, Richard Lane Jr. could be fined a maximum of $6,000 and be jailed for up to 1 year. James Higgins and Casey Higgins could be fined as much as $4,500 and be jailed for up to a year.