Poachers sneaking into boat ramp with illegal catch of rockfish foiled by finned flatfoot
PINEY POINT, MD. — Piney Point is home to some of the most accomplished and celebrated pirate poachers of the Chesapeake, centered around Lumpkins Seafood, who gained notoriety from being caught in a federal rockfish sting.
Along with individual pirates, the Lumpkins operation, local watermen and seafood dealers in other areas were rounded up and sent to federal prison. The redneck outlaw watermen are not the only ones out to grab all the undersize or illegally caught rockfish.
The Asian and Latino recreational fisher folks, many from the DC area as well as residents of Maryland ignore fishing regulations as well.
A boat-load of bozos allegedly joined the ranks of the pirate-poachers as the long arm of the law reached out and tapped them on the cooler.
Natural Resources Police report that four Lexington Park men were charged by NRP Officer Starliper with poaching on Sept. 17, 2015 after the Police officer caught them with 42 undersized striped bass.
Francisco Morales Vallardes, 51, Douglas Francisco Morales, 34; Roberto Jesus Mejia Lopez, 33, and Oscar Saul Mejia-Lopez, 35, all of 46414 Sell Drive, Lexington Park, Md.; were each charged with exceeding the daily catch limit of two striped bass and possession of undersized striped bass.
An officer observed a boat approach the St. George Island Bridge boat ramp without proper navigational lights at about 9 p.m. on Sept. 17. A man on shore ran to the boat to get a cooler and began to take it to a car in the parking lot.
The officer stopped the man and asked to inspect the cooler, which contained 42 striped bass ranging in length from 10 to 16 inches.
All four men are scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s District Court on Dec. 3. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of $1,000.
As first offenders, the men are likely to face low fines as court records show no prior citations.