Police Charge St. Mary’s County Man With Multiple Oyster Violations

MECHANICSVILLE, Md. – The Maryland Natural Resources Police were conducting surveillance in St. Mary’s County when they observed John Vallandingham, 67, sell six bushels of oysters from his property.

In the previous weeks, police tracked oysters harvested from the Wicomico River in St. Mary’s County to a detached garage belonging to Mr. Vallandingham.

During their investigation, they learned that the oysters were stored in improper containers within the garage for several days, with daily temperatures exceeding 50 degrees.

The inadequate storage of the oysters and the unseasonably high temperatures represented a public health risk.

According to police, the oysters were being purchased to serve at a charity event.

Additionally, Vallandingham did not possess a commercial tidal fish license or any seafood dealer licenses. Therefore, officers seized the oysters before being consumed by the general public and charged Vallandingham.

Vallandingham was charged with failure to obtain a tidal fish license for commercial activity, failure to pay the oyster surcharge, engaging in an activity requiring a license or authorization without having a license or authorization, and catching oysters for commercial purposes without a license.

He faces up to $28,000 in fines and one year in jail if convicted.

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  1. This is how innocent people get food poisoning…and possibly die. There are licensing and storage requirements for a reason. This idiot needs to be made an example of. Unfortunately, like many other DNR violators, it will likely result in merely a slap on the wrist.

  2. This is why I won’t eat oysters at our
    local restaurants, because of jerks like
    Vallingdam out there selling them.

  3. Maryland DNR police are pathetic losers that have nothing better to do than surveil and track a small-time hobby fisher for weeks, steal his property, and then threaten to put him in a cage because he didn’t have a permission slip from the holy politicians.

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