ANNAPOLIS (Oct. 3, 2016)—Acting on tips, officers arrested a St. Mary's County man Thursday and charged him with four counts of illegal crabbing.
An investigation by Natural Resources Police found that Bruce Edward Chainay, 62, of California, was harvesting crabs from crab pots in an area of Smith Creek restricted to trotlines and hand lines. Officers saw his boat, but it disappeared around a bend in Jutland Creek.
While checking recreational crabbers at Seaside View Campground on Jutland Creek, officers found 61 mature female crabs in a cooler. People told officers that about 10 minutes before their arrival, a man drove up and sold them the crabs. Chainay's boat-seen earlier in Smith Creek-his distinctive crab basket and multiple crab pots were located at a campsite.
He was charged with failing to have a tidal fish license for commercial activity, failing to have a commercial crabbing license, keeping female crabs recreationally during a closed season, and setting and harvesting from crab pots in restricted waters.
Chainay is scheduled to appear in St. Mary's County District Court Nov. 3. The maximum penalty for the four charges is $4,000.