- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Maryland Natural Resources Police wants boaters and everyone else who makes use of the state’s natural resources to know that Maryland is not a good place to break the law and expect to get away with it.

On July17, the NRP charged two Edgewater men in separate incidents. Vincent I. Arcidiacono, 43, was cited for having too much to drink while operating a 50-foot power boat near Spa Creek on the Severn River about 7 p.m.

Then Edward Francis Madden, 43, was caught drinking and driving a 24-foot cabin cruiser near the Route2 bridge on the South River two hours later, according to NRP Cpl. Ken Turner.

Next, the Natural Resources Police conducted a special operation that targeted litterbugs on the Choptank River Fishing Pier after receiving complaints from apparently law-abiding fishermen.

The operation netted 20 fishing violations, eight state park regulation violations (four for littering), and one for disorderly conduct. State park users are reminded to take trash with them when leaving park grounds, and that includes the fishing bridge in Cambridge on the Eastern Shore.

And just in case you think the game cops can’t work regular police details, ask the three men who were arrested on drug and handgun charges on July17.

The NRP officers stopped a vehicle for speeding near LaVale, west of Cumberland, in Allegany County, and discovered that the driver, Calvin Butler, 32, of Upper Darby, Pa., had suspended driving privileges and was wanted on a warrant in Pennsylvania. Officers recovered a loaded 9mm handgun, several bags of marijuana and $495. Butler was charged with driving with a suspended license, aggressive driving, speeding, possession of marijuana, intent to distribute marijuana, transport of a handgun in a vehicle, possession of a handgun in connection with drug trafficking, and having a handgun with obliterated serial numbers.

He was held on $35,000 bond. Two passengers in the vehicle, Earl Moore Jr., 36, of Charleston, W.Va., and Donte Tyree Salley, 18, of Philadelphia, were each charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. Moore was held on $25,000 bond and Salley was held on $7,000 bond, said Cpl. Turner.

The NRP work plainly isn’t all about jacklighting deer and keeping too many fish.

Anti-harassment law worked — Thanks to Indiana’s hunter harassment law, two anti-hunters could now do jail time for harassing and intimidating bowhunters.

On July21, a jury found Frederick and Rosanne Shuger of Beverly Shores guilty of two counts of hunter harassment. Frederick Shuger also was convicted of intimidation. The couple claimed that Indiana’s hunter harassment law, which is based on a draft model written by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, violated their rights to free speech. The prosecutor successfully argued that the First Amendment does not give them the right to threaten hunters and disrupt legal hunting activities.

The Shugers were accused of harassing hunters by honking their car’s horn and allowing their barking dog to disturb the deer. Frederick Shuger also was accused of further confronting and threatening hunters Jeff Valovich and Jim Meyers.

The couple faces up to 60 days in jail for each misdemeanor harassment charge and Frederick Shuger could be behind bars for up to a year on an intimidation charge.

Hunter harassment laws have been enacted in all 50 states and have been upheld in a number of court rulings. The jury’s verdict is in line with a 2002 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that ruled 5-0 that its hunter harassment law does not infringe upon the right to free speech and assembly.

For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance go to ussportsmen.org

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report every Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com

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