A Florida man was fined and sentenced Thursday in federal court to probation and community service for illegally transporting snakes and lizards in a case investigated by Maryland Natural Resources Police.
William Carl Bartlett, 66, of Eastpoint, was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, received three years of probation and was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel also prohibited Bartlett from entering any Maryland state park or forest.
Bartlett, a snake and reptile collector, pleaded guilty last December to two counts of illegally transporting protected wildlife. He is the fourth person prosecuted as part of “Operation Kingsnake,” an investigation spearheaded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service into individuals who trafficked hundreds of illegally collected snakes from 12 states and Canada.
Between April 29 and May 13, 2015, Bartlett took five Coastal Plain milk snakes from the Chesapeake Forest and the Pocomoke River State Forest in Worcester County, to a home he owned in Connecticut. The snakes were collected in violation of Maryland law.
In May 2016, Bartlett illegally collected four protected snakes and four lizards from the Pocomoke River State Forest, but was stopped by a Natural Resources Police investigator before he could take them to Connecticut.
Bartlett also was charged by federal agents with shipping by overnight courier 10 Outer Banks kingsnakes from Connecticut to a customer in Emporium, Pennsylvania in July 2012.
An officer checking on a boat tied up at a ramp on Kent Island yesterday rescued a tiny dog locked inside the burning boat.
The incident began at about 9 a.m., when the officer boarded a 1982 Carver cabin cruiser that had been tied up overnight at Little Creek Landing in Chester and tried to find an occupant.
The officer heard a dog barking and then saw black smoke pouring from the back hatch and a port-side window. Fearing someone was aboard and incapacitated, the officer opened the back hatch while a bystander tried to open the port-side window.
The officer was able to grab the frightened dog, an older Chihuahua. She then used a fire extinguisher from her patrol truck to knock the flames down until Queen Anne’s County firefighters arrived to extinguish the fire.
An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office said it appeared that a wake caused the boat to rock and knock over a kerosene heater, which ignited a rug.
The boat owner, Robert Black, 63, of Chester, told the officer he left his boat for about 10 minutes to run into town and left the kerosene on while he was gone.
A Baltimore woman was charged Tuesday with attempting to sell taxidermied owls, a violation of state and federal law.
Chelsea Geordan Werner, 27, was offered to sell a long-eared owl for $225 on Craigslist. During an exchange of text messages, Werner offered to sell an additional owl to an officer for a total of $470