Police in Md. Seize Truck Filled With Undersized Oysters - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police in Md. Seize Truck Filled With Undersized Oysters

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A small portion of the oysters allegedly discovered in a tractor-trailer seized by Maryland Natural Resources Police on Wednesday night in Easton. (Photo: Department of Natural Resources) A small portion of the oysters allegedly discovered in a tractor-trailer seized by Maryland Natural Resources Police on Wednesday night in Easton. (Photo: Department of Natural Resources)

EASTON, Md.- Maryland Natural Resources Police say officers seized a tractor-tractor filled with oysters, many of them undersized, as it traveled through Easton on Wednesday night.

Police, said officers acting on a tip, stopped the tractor-trailer on westbound U.S. Route 50, and directed the driver to a parking lot.

Officers said the truck contained 188 bushels. Working by the light of their vehicle headlines, officers and cadets spent six hours measuring every oyster.

Police said all but one of the bushels contained oysters below the legal minimum of 3 inches. 
The tractor-trailer load represents the daily limit of 16 oystermen power dredging and is worth more than $8,000, according to the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service.

The truck driver, 66-year-old Rhoderick J. Newman of Tappahannock, Va., was charged with one count of attempting to transport undersized oysters out of state and five counts of possession of undersized and unculled oysters.

The truck, which police say is owned by Cowart Seafood Corp. of Lottsburg, Va., is being held at an NRP impoundment lot.

The maximum fine for the offense is $1,000 per bushel, police said.

"There is no excuse for any amount of oyster poaching, let alone what happened here," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Joseph P. Gill. "A blatant disregard for our fishery is a slap in the face to responsible watermen, and all Marylanders."

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