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5 watermen charged with oyster violations

DEALE ISLAND — Maryland Natural Resources Police say five watermen have been charged with power-dredging for oysters in a Tangier Sound sanctuary.

Natural Resources Police say an officer aboard a state police helicopter spotted eight commercial boats power dredging in the sanctuary on Friday and was able to identify three boats before they joined other boats working outside the sanctuary. The charges were announced Monday.

Police say 32-year-old John Earhart III, and 30-year-old Jason Abbott, both of Princess Anne; 47-year-old David Wheatley, and 49-year-old Daniel Benton, both of Deale Island, and 58-year-old Stephen Webster, of Wenona, were charged with oystering in a sanctuary.

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