Wicomico man charged with oyster poaching

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Armed with their newest enforcement tool, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers Friday morning pierced a blanket of fog to nab a waterman illegally harvesting oysters from a state sanctuary in Somerset County.

Officers were on patrol in the Tangier Sound, monitoring the radar capability of the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network, when they noticed a vessel heading toward the Somerset Oyster Sanctuary. Due to heavy fog in the area, officers were able to position themselves near the sanctuary without being detected.

Once the officers observed the suspect vessel enter the sanctuary on MLEIN, they intercepted the vessel actively engaged in dredging for oysters. Officers then maneuvered alongside and boarded the vessel, operated by Adam Rodney Antes, 32, of Nanticoke.

Antes had two bushels of undersized oysters on board. Antes received two citations for harvesting oysters from a sanctuary and two citations for harvesting undersized oysters. Both bushels of oysters were returned to the sanctuary.

Antes is scheduled to appear in Somerset District Court on March 10. If found guilty of all four charges, he faces a maximum penalty of $8,000.

In December, Antes was charged with overharvesting oysters in Wicomico County, a case that is scheduled to be tried on March 3. Last August, he was found guilty in Wicomico County for possessing undersized crabs and was found guilty last March in Somerset County for possessing unmeasured oysters.

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