Poachers Nabbed With Illegal Fish

OCEAN CITY — Acting on tips from the public, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) officers conducted a plainclothes operation last Saturday night on the Route 50 bridge in Ocean City and issued 14 citations to four Virginia men for possession of undersized striped bass and red drum and exceeding the daily catch limit for striped bass.

NRP officers charged the four Virginia men, identified as Humberto Ventura, 43, of Woodbridge; Cesar Melendez, 19, of Manassas; Cruz Chinchalla, 43, of Manassas; and Antonio Riyan, 31, of Herdon.

During the operation, NRP officers seized 27 striped bass and two red drum. All fish were donated to local shelters.

Court dates have been set for each of the suspects in District Court in Worcester County in January and the combined fines could total over $2,200.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.