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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does it take to get this guy off the water? He's already got ELEVEN convictions for various oyster offenses alone, and now he's been caught again - this time in Solomons.

POSSESSION OF UNDERSIZED OYSTERS: On Thursday, Oct. 9, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged Joseph Bruce Janda Jr., 22, of Wittman with two counts of possession of undersized oysters.

Janda was harvesting oysters commercially in the area of Town Creek on the Patuxent River when NRP stopped and checked his catch. Janda was also charged with failure to have Tidal Fish License available for inspection and insufficient number of fire extinguishers onboard his vessel. A court date of December 12 has been scheduled for Janda in St. Mary's County District Court.

You may remember this same guy from earlier this year, when he made the crime blotter for his work in Talbot County (below).

Talbot County - On Sunday, March 9, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged Joseph Bruce Janda Jr., 22, of Wittman with 11 counts of possession of undersized oysters.

The charges stem from an incident on Feb. 21, at 5:10 a.m. when NRP observed Janda's vessel returning to Wittman Landing without navigational lights. The officer made contact with Janda and performed an inspection on the vessel to check safety equipment required by State and Federal law. During this inspection NRP entered the cabin of the vessel and found a locked door blocking access to the bow or trunk cabin area of the vessel.

When Janda refused to unlock the door, NRP secured a search and seizure warrant for the vessel. The warrant was served and 12 and one half bushels of oysters were discovered in the trunk cabin area. Eleven of those bushels contained anywhere between 10 to 30 percent of undersized oysters.

Janda was charged with 11 counts of possession of undersized oysters, possession of oysters during prohibited time, operating a vessel between the hours of sunset and sunrise without proper navigation lights and expired visual distress signals. A court date of May 15 has been scheduled for Janda in Talbot County District Court.​

Incredibly, when the March case went to court, and despite his long history of previous oyster violations, Mr. Janda walked away with only $260 in fines. What does it take for our judicial system to remove unrepentant natural resources criminals from our waters???
 

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When the goverment understands that these poachers see finds like 260 as operating cost and not a detterant 260 in fines is like a 9% sales tax on every 2900 dollars of illegal sales. We can't go around cutting off hands (I for one would be willing to come down and do the job pro-bono as long as I get to keep the rings and fingers for soup) the only detterant we have is money and as long as the fine is a surcharge and not a monetary death sentance (the boat, the tow vehicle, all equipment on board and at the offenders residence plus fines to any customers on list or reconrds kept by the defendent) This is an operating cost IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why is it that when somebody is caught spotlighting deer NRP can confiscate, right on the spot, the offender's gun and truck; but when somebody is caught poaching fish/crabs/oysters - there is no confiscation penalty available, whatsoever?
 

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Just think about all the times he has not been caught and all the illegal oysters he has taken. This guy and Buddy H need to to be tied together and flogged!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just think about all the times he has not been caught and all the illegal oysters he has taken. This guy and Buddy H need to to be tied together and flogged!!!
The truly amazing aspect of this story: the guy is only 22 years old, yet has already accumulated 21 convictions under Natural Resource laws, including operating with a revoked/suspended TFL, for which he was fined $477.50 - but received no jail time.

Under the current system, I suppose this punk will just continue flaunting the law for his next 10, 20, or 50 years on the water - walking away every time by paying a simple fine. And that ain't right... Something has got to change here.
 

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I wonder if we can track his income through tax rec. . oh that's right never mind.

Sorry-cheap shot I shouldn't have taken.
 

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Recreational or Commercial, anyone who breaks the law and is convicted that many times needs to lose his license and serve some jail time. It's a total mockery of the system.

And to make matters even worse we are at 1% of historic levels for oysters. EVEN SADDER is that we still allow a commerical harvest for them. It's an absolute total joke.
 

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I would like to know who buys the oysters from this convict and don’t they know their illegal to harvest. This is sad:censored:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! guess regulations mean nothing here in MD. No sense having laws or regulations if they arent enforced.
Actually, enforcement isn't the issue here - this guy has been apprehended by the NRP on plenty of occasions. The real problem lies in the adjudication of the offense: the penalties for violations are too weak, the prosecutors aren't pursuing more strict punishments, and judges are too lenient on natural resource offenders... As a result, the criminal just returns to breaking the law.
 

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It's the same on land as it is on the water. I would lock them up and they would get out of jail before I got out of court. It is a joke. My last years...the only way I would lock somebody up is if they stole my lunch!........Liberals.........Gary
 

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There is a major disconnect between lawBREAKER penalties for these (oyster) infractions and lawMAKER stated objectives of making health of the Bay a # 1 priority. Those two areas need to be synched-up in order to achieve goals of improving water conditions.
 

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There is a major disconnect between lawBREAKER penalties for these (oyster) infractions and lawMAKER stated objectives of making health of the Bay a # 1 priority. Those two areas need to be synched-up in order to achieve goals of improving water conditions.
AMEN!!!! :clapping2::yes::thumbup:
 

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Actually, enforcement isn't the issue here - this guy has been apprehended by the NRP on plenty of occasions. The real problem lies in the adjudication of the offense: the penalties for violations are too weak, the prosecutors aren't pursuing more strict punishments, and judges are too lenient on natural resource offenders... As a result, the criminal just returns to breaking the law.
You are correct that it is the penalties that are the problem :yes:
 

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What is the MSSA's stance on this? I would be very interested in hearing what the "officially" have to say about a repeat offender. I would hope they would take the stance that he should loose his license to fish commercially or recreationally.

Poaching is just as devastating to a fishery as mismanagement, possibly worse.

Ken
 

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What I would like to see is a private attorneys general statute in Maryland for a host of natural resource crimes. It is unrealistic to expect the state to be able to throughly patrol and enforce these laws, given our economic situation. Maryland certainly has some pork in its budget, but not nearly as much as folks think (with the exception of the theoretical ICC budget). It also has a huge backlog of more pressing projects (public transportation, school maintenance, infrastructure maintenance, regular cops, etc.).
 
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