Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake: Virginia cracks down on oyster thieving commercial watermen

 

Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake

Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake: Virginia cracks down on oyster thieving commercial watermen

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. (Nov. 27, 2015) – The Virginia Marine Police have filed criminal charges against 12 commercial watermen for serious oyster violations in the Rappahannock River, including plundering an oyster sanctuary.

The charges were filed by the Marine Police on November 22, 2015, and November 23, 2015, after consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney.  Of the 48 violations, 24 are Class 6 Felony’s,15 are Class 1 Misdemeanors and 9 are Class 6 Misdemeanors. All violations occurred on October 22, 2015.

Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner John M.R. Bull said, “The Commission has no tolerance for oyster thieves, especially those who steal from a protected sanctuary. This matter will be resolved in court and if convicted, these individuals will stand in front of the Commission to determine whether their licenses should be revoked and for how long. In the past two years, the Commission has revoked 39 licenses for natural resources violations, which is the most in decades.”

Virginia Marine Police

Virginia Marine Police

The charges brought against the oyster harvesters are:

Oyster Violations Rappahannock River Area 5  – OCTOBER 22, 2015

Anthony Dale Hogge MRC # 008579 – Resides Gloucester County

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 1 Misdemeanor

Virginia suspends licences of ten watermen for harvesting oysters from condemned area of James RiverJeffrey Scott West MRC # 008996 – Resides in Gloucester County

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 1 Misdemeanor

James Luisan West MRC # 008864 – Resides Gloucester County

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

A CSX train being loaded with oyster shells for shipment to Maryland for use in rebuilding oyster beds depleted by years of oystering.

A CSX train being loaded with oyster shells for shipment to Maryland for use in rebuilding oyster beds depleted by years of oystering.

John Matthew West MRC # 008031 – Resides Gloucester County

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

John Kenneth West MRC # 3048 – Resides Gloucester County

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Maryland State Police assist NRP oyster police spotting poachers in oyster sanctuary from the air.

Maryland State Police assist NRP oyster police spotting poachers in oyster sanctuary from the air.

Willie Jessie West Jr. MRC # 008034 – Resides Poquoson

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Stephen Perriello MRC # 009332 – Resides Hampton

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 1 Misdemeanor

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New edition of THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY now on newsstands in Delaware, Maryland & Virginia

Michael Jackson MRC # 008281 – Resides Hampton

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Evan Alan Fuller – MRC # Not Registered – Resides Hampton

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Brooks Pruitt MRC # 0010 – Resides Onancock Eastern Shore

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Thomas Pruitt MRC # 3366 – Resides Bloxom Eastern Shore

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

Melvin Miller III MRC # 008779 – Resides Saxis Eastern Shore

28.2-516 – Oyster dredging or oyster dredging equipment on boat – Class 6 Felony

28.2-523 – Unlawfully using a scrape in an unauthorized area – Class 6 Felony

28.2-527 – Theft of oysters, clams, shells, etc. – Class 1 Misdemeanor

4 VAC 20-650-30 – Closure of Sanctuary Area – Class 3 Misdemeanor

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