The Maryland Natural Resources Police have had their hands full dealing with striped bass poachers.
On April 5, 2017, Maryland DNR reported that officers had charged nine men with possessing 87 striped bass from the waters of Dorchester County.
On Saturday, an officer watched as four men caught striped bass and hid them in storm drains on Fishing Creek Bridge. The officer recovered 14 fish.
Charged with possessing striped bass in a closed season were: Juan Manuel Bravo, 34, of Hyattsville; Emerson DeJesus Vargas Campos, 26, of Riverdale; Jairo Dario Ramierez, 22, of Upper Marlboro; and Elmer Antonio Castillo Araniva, 23, of Upper Marlboro.
The next night, officers watched as five men from Prince George’s County caught fish and placed them in the trunk of an SUV. When officers stopped the vehicle and searched it, they found 73 striped bass in a duffel bag.
Charged with possessing striped bass in a closed season were: Kevin Wilfredo Portillo Lopez, 20, Riverdale; Paris Benjamin Lizano Molina, 20, of New Carrollton; Steven Antonio Cabrera, 19, of Riverdale; Joel Antonio Portillo Ramierez, 21, of Cheverly; and Ariel Maur Sagastizado Sanchez, 21, of Hyattsville.
All nine men are scheduled to appear in Dorchester County District Court June 28. If found guilty, each man could be fined as much as $1,500.
On March 29, 2017, Maryland DNR reported that a recreational fisherman whose fishing privileges were suspended after multiple striped bass violations was arrested Saturday in Dorchester County after he was caught fishing again.
Officers on surveillance saw Ricardo A. Alvarado, 43, of Washington, D.C., on Fishing Creek Bridge at 1:43 a.m., catching and keeping striped bass. When questioned, he gave officers a false name and said he did not have identification. Officers pieced together information and realized that Alvarado’s fishing privileges had been suspended.
A records check showed that he had been caught fishing on a suspended license in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and had been fined more than $3,000 over the last four years for a variety of fishing violations.
Alvarado received citations for fishing under suspension, possessing striped bass in a closed season and fishing without a license.
Officers arrested Alvarado after learning that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Virginia. He waived extradition Monday.
A trial date has not been set in Dorchester County District Court. If found guilty of all three charges, Alvarado could be fined as much as $2,625 and be sentenced to jail time.
And on March 18, 2017, officers on patrol around the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park charged six men with illegally catching striped bass.
Jose L. Castro, 45, of Alexandria, Virginia; Manuel De Jesus Lazo, 52, of Silver Spring; Jose Francisco Pleitez Figueroa, 30, of Washington, D.C.; Jose Guevara, 50, of Alexandria, Virginia; Juan Carlos Valladares, 40, of Silver Spring; and Elvis Rodolfo Carreto, 25, of Hyattsville were all charged with possessing striped bass in a closed season. Carreto also was charged with fishing without a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License.
Officers found 13 striped bass the men had hidden near the pier.
The men are scheduled to appear in Talbot County District Court June 15. If found guilty, they could each be fined as much as $1,500. Carreto faces an additional fine of $125.