WASHINGTON – Four Charles County men pled guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to taking and selling wild, largemouth bass – a protected fish – from the Potomac River.
Dennis Patrick Woodruff, 47, of Bryans Road; Robert T. Brown Sr., 44, of Avenue; and Alfred Barney Grinder, 42, and Walter Irving Maddox, 61, both of Madison, each face up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine, said Lynne A. Battaglia, U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland.
Woodruff, Grinder and Maddox pled guilty Thursday to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. Brown pled guilty to violating the act, Battaglia said. A sentencing date has not been set, she said.
Between January 1990 and April 1993, the men conspired and took more than 40,000 pounds of wild, largemouth bass from the Potomac River and its tributaries, bringing in more than $150,000, Battaglia said.
She said Woodruff had a permit from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to raise and sell his own largemouth bass to seafood markets. However, she said, Woodruff also engaged in the wholesale purchase and sale of wild bass. The wild bass were sold in markets including New York, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, Battaglia said. -30-