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Friday, March 21, 2008

ILLEGAL CATCH: Court date set for Shore man with undersized oysters

Throw the book at him!

A Daily Times Staff Report

EASTON — A Wittman man accused of trying to smuggle undersized oysters on a vessel near St. Michaels is scheduled to appear May 15 in Talbot County District Court.

Joseph Bruce Janda, 22, is accused of navigating a vessel through a Chesapeake Bay waterway with no lights, while hauling 11 bushels of oysters of which up to 30 percent were undersized, according to the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The undersized oysters were discovered in a locked area of the vessel about 5 a.m. on Feb. 21, as Janda headed toward Wittman Landing, according to the NRP. Authorities secured a search and seizure warrant after Janda refused to unlock a door that blocked access to the bow or trunk cabin area, the agency said.

In all, the suspect is charged with 11 counts of possession of undersized oysters, as well as possession during a prohibited time and operating a vessel between sunset and sunrise without proper navigation lights and with expired visual distress signals, the NRP said.

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