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2 in Md. indicted in alleged oyster poaching scheme

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A federal grand jury in Camden, N.J., has indicted six people, including two from Maryland, and two companies for their part in an alleged oyster poaching scheme from 2004 to 2007.

Mark Bryan of New Market and Pam Meloney of Secretary were arrested and charged with creating false federal and state reports for two oyster businesses, Harbor House Seafood in Seaford, Del., and Reeves Brothers of Port Norris, N.J., to hide that they exceeded their New Jersey quota.

The indictment says Reeves overharvested some years by as much as 90 percent, with the value of the illegal oysters in excess of $600,000. Bryan, a co-owner of Harbor House, and Meloney also provided false reports to investigators from New Jersey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the indictment says.

The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the trafficking charges carry a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com

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