Police Cite One for Illegal Oystering

Drayden, MD-- A St. Mary’s County man was charged Friday with multiple violations of regulations after he was seen harvesting oysters inside a sanctuary.

Officers on surveillance saw Steven Gary Adams, 68, of Drayden, hand tonging more than a mile inside the St. Mary’s River Oyster Sanctuary at 4:15 a.m.

When Adams returned to shore a short time later, officers stopped him. They found seven untagged plastic containers with unmeasured oysters behind a tree. The federal Food and Drug Administration requires tagging so that contaminated oysters can be tracked back to their point of origin and the area can be placed off limits.

Adams was issued citations for harvesting inside a sanctuary, possessing oysters outside legal hours, failing to tag the containers and operating without running lights. The oysters were returned to the sanctuary.

Court records show that since 2010, Adams has been convicted of five natural resources offenses involving illegal oyster and crab harvesting and fined $960.

Adams is scheduled to appear in St. Mary’s County District Court March 2. He must appear in court on the sanctuary violation, which carries a maximum fine of $3,000 and possible license suspension or revocation. The three other charges carry a total maximum fine of $2,500.

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