An oysterman lost his license, a deer poacher was sentenced under a new state law, and a man accused of stealing state park passes and waterfowl hunting stamps was arrested in recent cases handled by the Maryland Natural Resources Police.
A Cambridge man with a history of natural resources violations has been permanently banned from harvesting oysters by an administrative law judge.
Todd Hamilton Ruark, 36, was cited by officers for power dredging in a hand tong-only area of the Tred Avon River Dec. 13, and again Dec. 19.
At a revocation hearing earlier this month, Ruark claimed he unintentionally violated the hand-tong boundary when strong tides pushed his workboat into the reserved area. He told Judge Thomas Welshko that he deserved leniency because he had not encroached very far into the hand-tong area.
After hearing from the officers and watching the video they, the judge disagreed. He called Ruark’s testimony not credible and noted that he was caught more than a football field-length inside the restricted area. The water, he noted, was calm.
“I conclude that on both dates, [Ruark] knew where the hand tong-only line was an intentionally crossed it to harvest oysters using a power dredge,” Welshko wrote in his ruling.
In December, Ruark was charged with nine additional violations stemming from illegal oyster harvesting. He was issued citations for: exceeding his daily catch limit by three bushels; harvesting oysters after hours; possessing untagged oysters; four counts of failing to store oysters in the proper containers; selling oysters on the internet without a dealer’s license; and selling oysters without a state health certificate.
He failed to appear Thursday in Talbot County District Court.
A Cecil County man found guilty of illegal deer poaching was ordered by a district court judge to pay $2,000 in restitution to the state and perform 80 hours of community service as required under the state’s new law.
Tyler Lee Scott, 20, of North East, was found guilty Wednesday in Cecil County District Court of hunting at night with a spotlight. Officers on surveillance caught him as he shot a deer on Knights Island Road in Earleville. Scott fired his crossbow out the window of his truck.
Scott’s pickup truck was equipped with a light bar in the grill that he used to illuminate the eight-point buck in the field before he shot it.
The judge dismissed charges of hunting at night, hunting on private land without written permission, possession of a loaded crossbow in a vehicle, and shooting from a road.
In addition to restitution and community service, Scott was placed on one year of supervised probation and had his hunting license suspended. His crossbow, arrows and flashlight were forfeited and the deer meat was donated to charity.
Scott’s lawyer has filed a motion for modification of the sentence.
A Dundalk man has been charged with stealing state park passes and waterfowl hunting stamps, and reselling them at discount prices.
Charles Edward Ruddlesden Jr., 22, was served criminal summonses Thursday on charges of theft, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. He is scheduled to appear in Baltimore County District Court May 10.
Last year, Ruddlesden was selling 2016 Maryland Park Service Passports —which cost $75—for $20 each or three for $50.
An investigator arranged to meet Ruddlesden in front of a retail store to buy five passes for $80. After the transaction, officers arrested the suspect and found two additional passes in his pants pocket. He also had three Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamps, also known as “duck stamps,” each valued at $9.
An inventory of stock at the Department of Natural Resources service center in Dundalk determined that a total of 30 passes and 11 stamps were missing. The remaining stolen passes and stamps have not been recovered.
If found guilty of the three charges, Ruddlesden could be sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined as much as $26,000.